Kathy & Stan Smith share their journey to a healthier lifestyle.
Kathy Smith’s stroke at age 40 was a massive wake-up call. A working mother with aging parents and a hectic schedule, she caught what she thought was a nagging flu that refused to go away. Taking her health for granted, she carried on with her stressful lifestyle, ignoring her body’s warning signs until the stroke hit in 2002, leaving her paralyzed on the right side, unable to write or speak.
“The doctors didn’t give me much hope,” Kathy explains. “I had a week in neurology and then a week in rehab. I said, ‘I’m not leaving here until I can walk out of this place.’ And I did, wearing a leg brace and using a cane.”
With very little explanation from the doctors on what caused her stroke and even less encouragement for the outcome of her rehabilitation, Kathy and her husband Stan sought out additional rehabilitation treatments and solutions, using the best of what they discovered to design their own rehab program. Together they embarked on a 24/7 commitment to gain back what she had lost through juicing, eating a very plain, nutrient-dense, plant-based diet and drinking lots of water.
In less than four months she was back to walking the dog. After much more hard work and perseverance, Kathy has regained all motor use in her right side and has relearned how to write and speak. “Before my stroke I was running too fast. Now I’ve learned to stop and listen to my body, give it whatever it’s needing, whether it’s more rest or just taking some time out.”
Kathy’s husband Stan sums up the experience, “It’s when you start to lose something that you really value it. When you’re young, you think you’re going to live forever; your health is taken for granted. The greatest gift you can give to someone is to invest in your own health. When you do, you’ll find you have more to give others.”