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Patient Story: Dashia Thorpe

Dashia Thorpe was driving one Friday evening and began experiencing a sore throat. She came home, took some over the counter medicine and laid down. She woke up about an hour later confused with a strange, warm feeling in her head. She also confused a television show to people trying to come in her home and hurt her. She eventually laid back down after getting a glass of water.

When she tried to get up the second time, Dashia took two steps and fell. She took a few more steps and then fell in the bathroom. She realized she couldn’t use her left hand and couldn’t figure out how to put her hair up in a simple ponytail. Dashia looked down at her foot and noticed it was curled in a strange position. She knew she had suffered a stroke and went to the hospital.

The stroke caused left-side weakness limiting Dashia to walk with a cane or use a motorized chair to get around. She attended a stroke support group as an inpatient, but insurance would not cover an outpatient group. Her second floor apartment in New York became a challenge. “I could hold the railing with my right arm to walk up the stairs, but would have to walk down backwards to hold the railing since my left side doesn’t work,” said Dashia. She had trouble finding another home that could accommodate her needs.

After an online search, Dashia found herself applying for a home in Durham, North Carolina. After relocating she found a new physician, a new school for her son and a new support group. In October 2010 Dashia attended her first stroke support group meeting at Durham Regional Hospital. “The stroke support group at Durham Regional is an outlet for me. It is nice to be able to share my story and hear from others. It is also a good place to get information about new products and services available for people with needs like mine.” Years later, Dashia continues to attend the group to offer support to her fellow survivors.

The stroke support group at Durham Regional Hospital offers education, support and resources for individuals who have been affected by stroke. Survivors, family members, caregivers and anyone else interested are welcome. This support group meets the second Monday of each month from 1-2:30 p.m. To register, visit durhamregional.org/events.