Stroke can happen to anyone! Hi, my name is Ray Forsythe. Every child has a dream. Well mine was to be a Professional Football player for the National Football League. I knew this would be a tall task. I knew the amount of preparation it would take. to become a Professional Football Player for the NFL. First, I had to tackle the college level in my quest at Kent State University and the University of Central Florida. I finished a decorated collegiate career, that landed me a NFL contract with the Cincinnati Bengals, NFL World Football League and the Orlando Predators of the AFL. All my hard work and preparation paid off.
At the young age of 41, I was at the top of my career in the Automotive Luxury Industry. I was the General Manager for Mercedes Benz, General Motors, Ferrari, and Maserati. I had an ischemic stroke, located in the Central Brain Stem. My wife was pregnant with baby number 6! Brynn Forsythe 24, Stone Forsythe 17, Hawke Forsythe 14, Grace Desmond 13, Jaxon Forsythe 2, and Harrison Forsythe, unborn!
After being discharged, the competitive side of me said, “ This will be easy to rehab.” I was prepared to do whatever it takes to get back to work. My wife was a stay at home mom full time. Now, the roles would be reversed. Being a one income family, now we had to face the obstacles like daycare and lodging for weekend visits from the family. Where would the next meal come from? How am I going to get to and from the outpatient facility? How would I navigate important doctor appointments? How do I start the process of disability? These are just a few obstacles that I had to face.
The healthcare system didn’t speak of any of this? I was overwhelmed and found myself worried about the things I couldn’t control. My focus on stroke recovery now became secondary.
My new motivation is now making sure that the next Stroke Survivor does not travel down this road. Rachel and I, both lived this nightmare as Young Empowered Stroke Survivors by establishing this foundation for other Stroke Survivors. Let’s take the unknown Stroke Survivor Journey with you! YESS, is reminding you that you can! We are here to help you and the care givers by keeping you focused and the only worry you have is YESS!!