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Home    For Our Community    HealthSense    Patient Stories    Mark's Story: Surviving a Stroke
Mark's Story: Surviving a Stroke

"Life is good. I never thought that I would not get back."

–Mark Sponsler

While exercising at his house, Mark Sponsler suddenly felt very odd. As he was straining toward the end of a set of pushups, he noticed a strange sensation just before collapsing on his right side.

As he tried to move and slumped out of a chair, Mark realized he could not move his right side. He immediately knew that he'd had a stroke. But what Mark didn't know at the time was that he had been living with a narrowed artery in his brain his entire life. As he describes it, Mark was a "walking time bomb."

Unable to speak, Mark began to try to drag himself out of the living room and toward his wife, who found him in the foyer of their home. She, too, immediately recognized the signs of a stroke and called 911. The emergency medical personnel arrived right away and took Mark to Cox South.

Once there, the stroke team assessed Mark and developed a plan of action. During his first surgery, physicians stabilized the bleeding that had occurred. Doctors told Mark that he could expect his speech to return first, then his mobility in his right arm, and finally the mobility in his right leg.

Following surgery, his speech began to return, although it would take some time to notice improvements in his right side mobility.

Today, Mark has regained most of the use of his right arm and considerable improvements to his leg. He wears a brace on that leg to help him get around, and has a driver that is able to get him safely where he needs to go.

Instead of comparing his life to what it was before the stroke, Mark focuses on how far he's come. He works on building upon his successes and recognizes that he'll only stop improving when he stops working on it – something he never intends on doing.

To continue that success, Mark does in-home therapy to improve his strength and mobility. He also leans on the support of his wife and two children, who enjoy trips to Disney World together.

As for his outlook today, Mark keeps it simple: "Life is good."

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