On January 14, 2009, Rich got up bright and early as usual - 5:00 a.m. When he left for work, he felt something was off and thought perhaps it was dehydration. Soon after he had a headache. Then tired. He went to a walk-in clinic and was told it was a migraine. That night, he began thrashing around. Just 48, Rich was having a stroke.
The right side of his body was paralyzed. His mouth was drooping. At the hospital, doctors were not sure Rich would survive. Now, this stroke hero is sharing his story with others and advocating for the best care for stroke patients.
Rich knows why immediate care is critical for stroke patients - he had to fight to learn how to walk, how to dress himself and how to speak again. His voice is back - and he's using it to help others. Rich shared his story with media and lawmakers. And he urged lawmakers to support legislation that will establish three tiers of stroke centers in New York because all stroke victims deserve the best care.
Now that's a hero!