A stroke no matter what the magnitude can be devastating all the way around! If you’re like me you started saving later in life. Of course, there was no warning of a devastating health condition for me especially a stroke. I had no health issues whatsoever. However, the stroke happened and not to go into every major detail besides losing my mobility I lost my livelihood. I lost my job, I lost my car, I lost my monthly income amongst other things. In the beginning stages of my stroke recovery, I absolutely did not know how devastating my massive stroke was. After I lost my income, I drilled through my savings paying for medicines, transportation, medical care, in-home rehabilitation.  Due to aphasia, I could not express myself in words verbally or in writing. If it had not been for my cousin Kimberly and my mother helping me to navigate my debts from creditors; be it business creditors, personal creditors, and education creditors, until I was able to navigate them on my own. It would have been more devastating for me with the added stress. Because of the financial devastation, I was able to utilize legal aid to get assistance on filing bankruptcy and tax help because of the stroke. One of my aunts helped me by taking me to UC Medical Center and they helped me apply for Medicaid, so I did not have to be without my therapies. I need the world to understand I thought I was invincible before my stroke. I was “living my best life” and I was able to pay all of my debts on a monthly basis. I was able to save, travel, and purchased anything I wanted. Unfortunately, my stroke took me for a loop. I’d never thought about long term care insurance or disability insurance. With the assistance of my mother’s help with reading, I was able to apply for SSI Disability. It took 10 months for SSI to be approved the first time and the benefits are not comparable to what I was bringing home before the stroke. I was an executive director and I successfully ran my own business.

To me, this is not the life I wanted to live but it has been a blessing for the fact I was working since I was 15 years old. As I reinvent myself and I am recovering from my stroke, the message I have for today is to think beyond now because a stroke does not discriminate! No matter where you are in life unless you have an unlimited resource of money, you have to think,” what if something were to happen to me?’ I’m telling you this for you to be prepared so that health devastation will not happen to you. The reason I open up my Stroke recovery journey to the world is to be a help for someone who is either going through recovery or to use my life to prevent devastation from happening to them. I still have a long way to go on my journey, but I have definitely come along way. Take your finances seriously, save, utilize insurance, and be prepared because a stroke does not discriminate, and it can happen to anyone. Yes, I am still fundraising to start my foundation and to help myself with certain alternative stroke recovery practices. I want to make sure I can help others who have gone through a stroke because the recovery process is a long journey.

My name is Trazana A. Staples! I had a Stroke! I Am a STROKE Survivor! I AM A Phoenix Rising!

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