Stroke survivor spreads awareness - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Stroke survivor spreads awareness

Stroke survivor spreads awareness

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Travis Bossard, 34, picked up a guitar for the first time when he was 10 years old.

Five months ago, he was forced to learn it all over again.

"I feel like time just kind of stood still when this stroke happened," Travis, Bossard, said.

Last December, he suffered a stroke.

With a clean medical history, he never imagined he was at risk.

He says his most shocking factor, his age.

"That was the last thing that was on my mind,” Bossard, said. “I have never had any health concerns before.”

Joyce Jaixen, the Madonna Stroke Prevention Program Leader, says there is no age requirement for having a stroke.

"Strokes do not discriminate for age as evidence by the fact that Madonna, over that last two years, has treated over 167 patients that were under that age of 65, 10 of which were adolescents," Joyce Jaixen, the Madonna Stroke Prevention Program Leader, said.

Bossard spent months recovering at the Lincoln campus.

Therapists taught him how to re–train his body physically and mentally.

But, his best therapy wasn’t textbook.

He used his guitar.

"That will improve his left hand coordination and his fine motor skills and his multi–tasking,” Virginia Schweitzer, Occupational Therapist Assistant, said. “To play a guitar is a lot of divided attention and a lot of focusing."

Bossard commends the support given at Madonna. His biggest supporter just happens to be both a Madonna therapist and his wife.

Annie was there with him from the start, to his final strum on the guitar.

"I am so proud of him," Annie Bossard, said.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

"FAST" is used to recognize and respond to the signs of stroke.

Face, ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

Arms, ask the person to raise both arm. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech, ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Does the speech seem slurred or strange?

Time, if you observe and of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.

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