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Life After a Stroke: May 28, 2011

Marge Vermeyen suffered a debilitating stroke in 2002.

“I went down, took a shower, got out of the shower and that’s the last thing i remember,” she says.

Marge had to learn to walk and talk again. Nowadays she finds herself navigating a new reality. Battling depression, she found her way into a support group for stroke survivors.

“It helps them be able to deal with what they’re going through because it is a big change in their life and they meet other people who are going through that same thing,” says Lee Memorial Hospital physical therapist Sarah Simon.

As death rates for stroke have dropped significantly, it means there are more survivors than ever before. An estimated 7 million of them, living with the after-affects.

Sarah Simon oversees Marge’s support group.

“Usually we’ll go around and everybody will share the success that they’ve had that week, like if they’ve had a little bit of progress in their recovery they like to talk about that.”

A healthy dose of companionship went a long way with Marge.

“We have lots of laughs.” she says.

With the help of the stroke support group, she and others like her are sharing their road to recovery.