My mom, dad, and brother all experienced significant strokes, so I have understood the worry and concern of a loved one during the most perilous parts of the medical emergency and through the varying levels of recovery. I joined much of the world in observing from a distance as Tedy Bruschi experienced a significant stroke in 2005, worked his way through intense recovery processes, and publicly shared the process to increase awareness of stroke and heart disease. Along the way, he rather incredibly undertook one of the most amazing comebacks, as with the support of his incredible medical team he resolved the hole in his heart and returned to play professional football for the New England Patriots.
In 2005, he founded Tedy’s Team. This charity, built on the essential teamwork themes of his life, was created to raise funds, reduce the risks, increase the survivability, and support the comeback attempts of those who have similarly endured a stroke. The education, advocacy and awareness efforts have been remarkable and totaled more than $6 million along his path to changing innumerable lives.
He recently experienced another stroke, known as a TIA (transient ischemic attack). Any stroke is serious news and the awareness learned from his prior experience helped to ensure this was managed effectively. It also reminded many of us the ongoing importance of his efforts. How many lives can be saved by awareness? How many affected lives can find a path to a more positive place led by the inspiration and example of many, like Tedy and his team, who choose to respond to adversity in the best ways?
A stroke is a terrible thing, but a mindset of accepting defeat because of the adversity is also horrific. Tedy didn’t quit–in fact, he wrote his book Never Give Up. More powerfully, he used his adversity as a catalyst to develop a vision of how he could change many lives in a positive way. His determination and “Full Tilt, Full Time” attitude and approach led to incredible results.
I did not wish such tragedy for him the first or second time, but I appreciate and admire the approach he chose and the results he continues to achieve. When my brother had the same surgery as Tedy, I was comforted by the knowledge of the process and the advances which had been made. For thousands upon thousands who are educated to recognize the signs early enough to save and/or improve the quality of their own lives, we are fortunate for work of those like Tedy and his team. So whether you have experienced a stroke, know someone affected, or simply admire their work, we invite you to be a part of this team in some way.