‘I’m very grateful’: Vernon stroke victim thankful for recovery this Thanksgiving

Vernon woman grateful for stroke recovery this Thanksgiving
Watch Above: Imagine forgetting how to do basic tasks like feeding your pets or using kitchen appliances. That's the situation that a Vernon woman is facing after suffering a stroke at the age of 42. But on this Thanksgiving she's grateful despite a struggle to recover.

Over the last year Mayda Franco has had to relearn some of the basics including how to care for her animals and use her own microwave.

Last year, at the age of just 42, the Vernon, B.C. woman suffered a stroke that’s impacted her memory and her vision.

“When I first had the stroke I was dealing with being in the darkness and not remembering the now, but the past was back in my head,” Franco said.

So she uses techniques to jog her memory including taking walks down her very own memory lane, the route she’s used over the years to take her kids to school.

READ MORE: Women suffer greater burden from strokes than men: report

“My memory is better now. I can remember maybe what happened yesterday,” Franco said. “It is not 100 per cent. The year has gone by and I don’t feel like I have much to say about this year. I don’t recall much of it.”

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She hopes her perseverance can give other’s facing challenges hope.

WATCH: Can the latest in new technology help stroke patients regain their mobility?

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“We are all going to have something happen to us and we [are] going to drop, but the main thing is [not] how long we stay down, [it] is how quickly we get up and how much faith we have that we can do it,” Franco said.

While she admits it hasn’t been easy, the experience of recovering from her stroke has also left her with a newfound appreciation for day-to-day life.

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“Enjoy the wind, the rain, the snow, the birds, everything, because you don’t know when you won’t be able to remember or to see it again,” Franco said.

READ MORE: Scrumptious Thanksgiving meal dished out by Penticton Soupateria volunteers

The 43-year-old is now focused on recovering, staying positive and eventually returning to her job as a care aid.

This Thanksgiving has so much meaning for me because for me every day is for me to give thanks,” Franco said.

“I’m grateful that I’m remembering more and I’m seeing more and I’m very grateful for today.”

It’s a Thanksgiving reminder that despite life’s challenges so many of us have so much to be thankful for.