Patient stories: A young stroke survivor starts over
Lucas de Affonesca enjoyed life in NYC, working in advertising and making the most of everything the big city had to offer. In May 2021, his idyllic vacation in Hilton Head was shattered by an ER visit for a terrible headache that wouldn’t resolve and numbness on his left side – symptoms of a major stroke.
“One night, I remember just waking up and saying, ‘Man, I have this terrible headache and it won’t go away. I think it’s bad enough that we need to go to the hospital,'” said de Affonesca. “And that is the last thing that I remember.”
De Affonesca was helicoptered to Savannah, Georgia, for emergency brain surgery. He spent a month in a coma to give his brain and body time to heal. During the third week, his family was informed that he would be facing physical therapy and significant ongoing medical needs.
In this video, de Affonesca and his mother, Prisma Health team member Amy Linsin, discuss de Affonesca’s rehabilitation and recovery at Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital in Greenville, South Carolina.
De Affonesca struggled with depression in the aftermath, but found himself able to find humor in his situation, which he said made an immediate difference.
“If I can get through this and laugh, then I can get through anything,” said de Affonesca. “And I think the biggest thing I learned is to not take life too seriously. I make the decision to live with levity, because my life is hard.”
Surviving a serious medical emergency like a stroke takes willpower, determination and strength. Lucas de Affonesca and the staff at Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital worked together to rebuild lives, from taking that first step to the promise of future joy.
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