A Personal Experience with Brain Stem Stroke - Kristi O'Donnell

Updated:Nov 27,2012

Excerpted from "Surviving a Brain Stem Stroke," Stroke Connection Magazine January/February 2003

Four years ago on Christmas Eve, Kristi O’Donnell had a massive brain stem stroke that caused her to be locked in at age 30. Kristi was aware of things around her and could hear everything, but couldn’t move or speak. At first, she communicated to her fiancé by blinking her eyes while he pointed to letters and numbers on a board.

“I slowly regained some movement,” Kristi says. “I forced myself at five months to type with my left hand, and it’s been the best thing I’ve ever done. It has opened a whole new world for me.”

Two years after her stroke, she was able to eat and drink unassisted and move her left side. She has also regained her speech.