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Former Radio Host Shares His Story: Dave Jaconette

May is Stroke Awareness Month
Awareness of Stroke Symptoms Critical for Best Outcomes

May 7, 2018

Grand Rapids, MI – May is Stroke Awareness Month, and understanding the earliest signs and symptoms of a stroke can help ensure a more complete recovery. According to the American Stroke Association, someone experiences a stroke every 40 seconds and it is the No. 5 cause of death in the United States.

“Because acronyms are easy to remember, we encourage people to act “FAST” with stroke symptoms, meaning they should look for Face Drooping, Arm Weakness, Speech Difficulty and Time to call 911,” said, Cindy Bouma, communications director for the American Stroke Association in West Michigan.

Dave Jaconette, popular West Michigan radio host and Program Director at WJRW, had a stroke last July.

“I had all of the symptoms, but they were whispering to me instead of screaming to me,” said Jaconette. “They were subtle, but they were out of the ordinary. For some reason I didn’t think stroke.”

But his wife recognized the symptoms. She rushed him to the hospital, where his stroke progressed throughout the weekend. By Sunday, he’d lost the use of his right arm, right leg, and was no longer able to talk. He spent three weeks in the hospital before transferring to Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation.

“That’s where I made a very large amount of progress – from walking in a walker to transitioning to a four point cane, to learning how to dress myself, and feed myself again,” said Jaconette. “It was a very structured environment, and they keep you busy. I made a lot of progress in those initial weeks.”

“When someone experiences a brain injury, whether from a stroke, crash or anything else, it’s important to start intensive rehabilitation as soon as possible,” said Margaret Kroese, Vice President, Executive Director of Neuro Rehabilitation. “That’s the best way to regain the skills that were lost from the injury.”

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of a stroke, and getting those affected to a hospital as early as possible, ensures a better chance of a full recovery.

Hope Network provides neuro rehabilitation for people with brain injury, spinal cord injury, and more.

About Hope Network

Right now, more than 60 million people in the U.S. suffer from physical, mental, or social barriers that impact the way they live. One million of them live here in Michigan. That’s larger than the population of Detroit. A majority have fallen through the cracks and aren’t receiving the care they deserve. At Hope Network, we are advocates for those people.

For over 50 years, Hope Network has provided neuro rehabilitation, behavioral health, developmental, and support services that give people a chance to overcome life’s challenges. We do this because we believe every person was created to live life to the fullest.

Whether someone needs intensive therapy, a ride to an appointment, or any one of our many community support services, we’re ready to serve. The results are countless stories of recovery, restoration, and Hope. For more information about Hope Network, visit www.hopenetwork.org.

About American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association was created in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit strokeassociation.org.

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