(WSIL) — For the past few months, Greg Talley has been really pushing himself at physical therapy.
He says willing to do whatever it takes to get back on track, "It’s hard to work on something when it doesn’t work, so right now I’m fighting with my arm and my hand."
Greg once considered himself "bullet proof" and enjoyed being outdoors– riding his bike, and getting his hands dirty. But things changed on a Sunday afternoon in July.
He explains,"I was just feeling some sensation that I really didn’t know what was going on. Kinda really thought I might be having a heart attack. I was like sweaty and you know having some shortness of breath."
Greg’s wife took him to the emergency room where he learned it wasn’t a heart attack– but a stroke, "They admitted me and wanted to watch me and then when I woke up I had nothing on my left side so through the evening it had progressed and I couldn’t move my leg, couldn’t move my arm."
Dr. Keith Burchill with SIH Physician Rehabilitation Services says 80 percent of all strokes are preventable but stroke is the 5th leading cause of death and it’s a leading cause of disability. Dr. Burchill adds everyone should know the acronym FAST.
He explains, "Which is Facial drooping, Arm weakness, difficulty in Speech, and the T is especially important and that is Time. Time is brain. The sooner you notice these symptoms you have to come get help."
He says it is very important for people who are experiencing stroke-like symptoms to seek medical attention.
Dr. Burchill says, "Don’t go to bed. Don’t lie down thinking this is going to pass because– again time is brain– and it’ll reduce our options for different remedies if you don’t get into the emergency room as quickly as possible."
Dr. Burchill believes people who experience a stroke can recover if they work hard, "If they continue to work at it and continue to look after themselves and continue to get the proper care like going to an inpatient facility after they had a stroke."
Greg says his mission now is to share his story with as many people as he can. He also thanks his wife and his friend, Julie, for their help in his recovery journey.
He explains,"It’s made it easy to fight when you got people helping you. If somebody was alone, it would be really easy to lay down."
Greg Talley says he hopes to start running by December and be able to ride his motorcycle soon after.