Stroke victim regains ability to walk, talk, climb

Sebastian Baker tells story of recovery for Stroke Awareness Month

By Melanie Lawson - The Morning Show anchor
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla - "It was after I got off work and I went into my bathroom and I said, 'Hmm, I'm feeling funny,'"' says Sebastian Baker, who suffered a stroke while home alone.

That was the moment Baker's world turned upside down.  He didn't know he was having a stroke but he knew it was serious.

Baker didn't know -- most people don't -- that every hour during a stroke the brain loses 200 million nerve cells and ages four years.

"I looked into the mirror, my world started to shift, and I said 'What is going on?'"  says Baker.

He called his cousin and by the time he got there Baker had crawled out of the house.

"I was lying down. Then I couldn't say anything," says Baker.

His next memory was in the hospital.

"Hearing all the doctors around me talking and I couldn't say anything back. I was like, 'Oh! I'm in my twilight zone,'" says Baker.

He couldn't walk or talk after suffering the stroke.  But fast forward the next year and Baker has come a long way.

His need to walk up stairs was his motivator.

"That moment was key because from then on we started implementing extra therapy," says Michael Green.

Green is Sebastian's physical therapist at Brooks Rehabilitation and now he's a friend. He remembers the phone call he got that day.  Sebastian had just bought a condo and had to walk up 37 steps to get there and he wanted to make it work.

"That was very important to him because it was a matter of thinking of whether he should sell or keep it," said Green.

Baker went through occupational and speech therapy.  He learned to dress himself.  Also he learned how to move and speak again.

"I've made a lot of headroom because I'm back to work. I'm back driving. I'm back going places, like to the movies.  I'm reclaiming my life," says Baker.

Green says depending on the damage with a lot of hard work stroke patients can make amazing stride but being motivated is key!

"Stroke effects everyone in a different manner but if you come in every day with the  attitude. 'Hey what happened has already happened, you can't change that, but what you can do is try to change your future',  it will make a huge difference," says Green.

"Even though that I know that it is different for me now, I know that I made it. I made it, that if nobody else tells me I made it, I know I made it," says Baker.

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