Story no. 1: Miguel Angel Floria Valadez

Hello to all readers of this first publication, which I have thought is so necessary because of its possible repercussions in the future, in terms of a before and after in the rehabilitation of severe after-effects of a hemorrhagic stroke

All this I am going to tell you here are perceptions, experiences and feelings of a patient with very severe after-effects after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke in my right hemisphere of the brain, very internal where they can not intervene surgically, nor drainage, etc.

After suffering the stroke in the early morning of June 17, 2020 and being admitted to the emergency room of the Costa del Sol hospital, after confirmation of the serious damage, they decided to transfer me by helicopter to the special stroke unit of the Carlos de Haya Regional Hospital in Malaga. While there, my initial situation of left hemiplegia is complicated by a respiratory failure, which indicates that the musculature of the inner part is left without activity; your brain is a muscle, in short, the computer of our body, suffers such damage that it shuts down as a way to protect your own life

After a complex phase of being hospitalized and going through a tracheotomy and nasogastric tubes to be able to breathe and feed myself, respectively, when I am stabilized and discharged from the hospital and we return home, the arduous task of recovering all the lost abilities due to the brain damage begins, with little chance of a full recovery, and facing the new daily life. Imagine having to start all over again learning to sit up, stand up, start getting out of bed into a wheelchair, being totally dependent on another person for all basic activities. Imagine that frustration I felt when I realized that I could not fend for myself as before, that I needed help for everything because my entire left side was totally paralyzed. Imagine what I could feel when I saw fear in the eyes of my 1-year-old and 3-year-old children at the time because they did not understand what was happening and why their father was in this situation

These losses of physical and cognitive abilities can be very diverse depending on the part of the brain that affects us, in my case I suffered a left hemiplegia that made it impossible for me to walk, move my left arm, to speak and loss of cognitive, analytical and clear-thinking skills

After a waiting process until I can begin physical rehabilitation and speech therapy in the hospital, in a severe phase and weakened my body begins physical rehabilitation at home, with very few results due to such weakness, but soon begins a process of evaluation by doctors specializing in neurological rehabilitation where they give you a bleak prognosis, not only for yourself, but for your family and people close to you

Talking to these professionals, they confirm, based on their experiences, protocols and treated patients, in addition to the limitation of the public health system to recover patients with such severe neurological damage, that I will not be able to have a full recovery; and then begins a process of searching for information, the need to find a magic key that allows me to recover all my after-effects

One year and ten months after the cerebrovascular accident episode, I am more and more convinced every day that it is possible to recover by basing my rehabilitation on five fundamental pillars:

  1. Cognitive and linguistic rehabilitation working the brain
  2. Physical rehabilitation with a neurological physiotherapist and occupational therapist and, with the support of the neurological physical trainer
  3. Changing eating habits
  4. Resting
  5. Motivation and hope, because before we can see, we must be able to believe

I have been able to see that prevention is the key to avoid having to go through this complex process which, fortunately, I can count on, since many people die; and it must be taken into account that stroke is already the second leading cause of death in the world and one of the leading causes of disability, with all that this entails

In my case, I reached this situation because of hypertension and the stress of everyday life for many years, and there comes a time when your brain stops you because it cannot continue with that rhythm, the causes can be very diverse…

Perhaps at this point, a year and ten months after the brain damage I suffered, it is risky to say that it is possible to achieve the goal I set myself to reverse the after-effects completely, but at this stage of my life where I have managed to reverse almost facial paralysis and cognitive and I am aware that I have a long way to go in motor skills, I have great faith that the day may come when I get to reverse 100% of all the after-effects

To achieve this goal and to help others achieve their own goals, I put into operation the first multidisciplinary rehabilitation clinic specializing in both trauma and neurological treatments in addition to focusing on the prevention of these problems, the clinic I decided to call Neurogenesis Clinic. You may wonder why I chose this name, and it is that, for me, it is the scientific key where we can support our foundation of recovery, neurogenesis is the process of creating new neurons that died in a stroke, there is also another very important concept that also justifies our possibility of recovery, which is neuroplasticity, which is the process in which living neurons are able to learn the capabilities of those dead after the episode suffered

Therefore, based on both processes, a guided professional rehabilitation is the key to be able to recover these after-effects

Personally, I continue in a rehabilitation process, knowing that my after-effects are still very serious, in order to achieve functional normality again. I perform daily aerobic exercises with an exercise bike that helps me to reduce spasticity and stiffness on the side affected by the stroke, in addition to rehabilitation with a neurological physiotherapist and an occupational therapist specializing in the functional rehabilitation of the upper limb, as it is very difficult to achieve due to its complexity in the central nervous system

With all this I want to reiterate that I understand the professionals who doubt the full recovery in these cases because it requires a great struggle to achieve it

Finally, I want to emphasize that in this phase in which I find myself and with the coordination and help of many professionals, I am totally convinced that it will be essential to achieve my goal, for many people unreal, to be able, first to walk normally, and then to be able to run. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to integrate an essential figure that will be the sport therapist specialized in neurology, demonstrating that it is possible and opening many eyes, or rather minds, both to patients and professionals, that a full recovery will occur in an undetermined time and will depend on personal and independent factors, and that no two cases will ever be the same but the important thing is the message that it is not impossible without any chance of being able to achieve it

In my case, if I do not achieve my objectives, I will have no problem in recognizing for those people who are more negative or incredulous in the face of this challenge that it was not possible, that I gained quality of life, but not my goal

Finally, I would like to remind you that patients may have a more positive or negative diagnosis, but the verdict will be dictated by time and our motivation to achieve our goals

A lot of strength to all patients, family members, close people and professionals involved in the whole rehabilitation process

I will continue to report with videos of my current status so that you can check how my evolution is going in Neurogenesis Clinic

Yours faithfully Miguel Angel Floria Valadez