Love Stroke
Love Stroke
Stroke Recovery and One Young Couple's Journey
Perfect Bound Softcover
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At thirty-six years old, Kelly Marsh was a successful businesswoman with roles at the Cincinnati Museum Center and, most recently, chief marketing officer at Thomas More College. Her husband, thirty-nine-year-old Brad Marsh, was a successful entrepreneur and businessman.

In Love Stroke, they tell their story after Kelly suffered a stroke August 30, 2009. This memoir narrates the firsthand, chronological views from both the survivor and the primary caregiver, including their life before, the day everything changed, and the first two years of recovery. Kelly and Brad share personal trial-and-error insights from their journey, and they challenge some conventional medical wisdom about what is possible. They also give advice to friends and family on the best way to support their loved one and each other, and they offer useful lessons and resources.

Practical and inspirational, the Marshes' story is intended to assist all traumatic brain injury survivors and caregivers, but particularly younger survivors and caregivers as they shape their own destinies in recovery.

This book, written by both a young stroke survivor and her husband/caregiver (the roles are not separate), is filled with some great advice for stroke survivors and their loved ones. Despite having taken a full history of Kelly's stroke, and seeing her in clinic on many occasions, I still did not know many parts of her story, and certainly did not know her inner thoughts and emotions. I was fascinated to hear the details from both perspectives, but especially from Kelly and in her own words.

—Brett M. Kissela, MD, MS, Albert Barnes Voorheis professor and chair, Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Cincinnati

Kelly In August of 2009, my husband Brad and I took an early anniversary trip: a long weekend to New Orleans. Since our wedding in September 2005, both of our careers had picked up pace and intensity. Brad was traveling a lot, often internationally, and my position as Chief Marketing Officer at a local Catholic college had me working long hours. Sometimes it felt like the only chance I got to slow down, and stop thinking about work and family and other stress, was at daily Mass. So by the time summer wound down in 2009, we agreed we needed a chance to relax, just the two of us. New Orleans seemed like the perfect place to unwind and reconnect. I had had a steady dull headache on the right side of my head for about a week before the trip. Not being prone to headaches as a rule, I attributed it to my stress about work and the hectic schedule I had been keeping. Despite having a good time, my head continued to ache all weekend. As we rode to the airport to return to Cincinnati, I felt a little nauseous. We landed at about 1:30, right on time, and walked to baggage claim together. Once we got our bags, Brad stepped into the bathroom to freshen up. I could feel my face flushing and thought, I'm going to vomit. I need air! I exited through the automatic doors, breathing consciously. In, out, in, out. Still, I was feeling worse by the second. And not just ill - I felt strange, like I was outside my body. Food. Need to eat something. I get lightheaded when my blood sugar is low so I was in the habit of carrying a snack. That day, I had an apple with me, and managed to get it out of my bag and bring it to my mouth. I took a bite...then watched as the apple rolled out of my hand in slow motion, bounced once, twice, and came to a stop a few feet away on the concrete. Dazed, I leaned against the wall and hit the speed dial for Brad on my cell phone. No answer. I then tried to text him – "Please help", I wanted to write, just to find I couldn't press the buttons. In fact, my right hand didn't seem to be working at all, and my eyes couldn't focus. Brad "I'm going to clean up and change into my shorts", I told Kelly after we picked up our bags. While I was in the bathroom my phone rang, but I couldn't get to it right away. When I did, I noticed that I had missed a call from Kelly. Weird, I thought. Why would she be calling me? And then I saw there were two text messages. The first read "hep mp,"and the next text was a jumble of letters that didn't make sense. I rushed out of the bathroom but didn't see Kelly where I'd left her at the baggage carousel. I stepped outside and found her leaning with her back against the glass wall. There was an apple on the ground with one bite out of it and her phone lying beside it on the pavement. "Help me, help me," she mumbled.

Kelly Marsh, a graduate of Xavier University, is a seven-year stroke survivor. She was a chief marketing officer at Thomas More College. Kelly is a loving wife, daughter, sister, and aunt.

Brad Marsh earned a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from the University of Cincinnati. He is a successful businessman and entrepreneur. Brad is also a devoted husband, son, brother, and uncle.


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