By John Mott, Jr.
I experienced a lot in life as a young man and I must admit that I’ve seen better days. With a little effort, I managed to pull through the clutter of misfortunes. However, on March 28, 2009, life took me on a far greater journey. I was helping one of my church members move that morning. I was told to always expect the unexpected, but I had no idea that life would throw me such a surprise. As we moved the furniture, fatigue set in. Then things became even more questionable concerning my condition. First my right leg went limp, followed by my right arm. At the age of 25, I was diagnosed with a stroke. My life appeared to have turned for the worse. I never encountered such a traumatic experience before. I was a perfectly healthy young man. I didn’t know what to expect next. There had to be some logical explanation. There wasn’t one.
I spent countless hours in physical and occupational therapy at Brooks. The sessions were intense, but the results were astounding. I was paralyzed on my right side, so I had to relearn how to write, bathe, walk, and even comb my hair. I admit, I had a pride issue before the stroke, but after my encounter, I swallowed my pride and opened up like a book. I partook of the group activities, encouraged others and applied what I learned to my life. My faith played a major role throughout the process. My positive attitude also made a difference. I couldn’t help but give back to Brooks Rehab, so I became a volunteer. With God’s favor, my church family, Brooks Rehab, friends and relatives, my circumstances became tolerable.
Even though I had support, the journey still remained challenging—not impossible. I’ve always been up for a challenge. My unexpected change produced what I call a “bundle of stress”. I ended up losing my full-time job, my apartment and my peace of mind. As time progressed, I kept rolling with the punches and stumbled across a job opportunity. My income wasn’t much as a part-timer but some income was better than none. Momentarily I stayed with my relatives until it was no longer feasible, leaving me homeless. My church family quickly stepped in, allowing me to stay at the church building. Things begin to line up for me gradually as I found somewhat of a steady pace. I enrolled in writing school after writing a book about my stroke experience. As for the job, I moved from three different locations and became the assistant manager at the St. Johns Town Center! I know that the best is yet to come and there’s more to look forward to. In addition to being promoted, as of April 18, 2013, I moved into my own apartment. It’s been a long time coming and I know with God, determination and will power, I’ll manage and be all that I can be!