OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

My Hard Road to Victory

Stroke (CVA)

Tomer Keller

It turned out I had a brain stroke

Hello my name is Tomer. I am 28 years old. I am a surfer and swimmer with gold medals. I won the national swimming competitions for the disabled. I have a gym trainer certificate from the Wingate Institute. As long as I can remember, I have always loved sports. I have played soccer, basketball, running and mainly used to climb trees, but 17 years ago when I was 11, it seemed that everything was lost. It was the first day of sixth grade. My last year of elementary school it was a very hot day in the afternoon. My friends and I went to play football in the playground of school. Suddenly, I fell hard to the ground, I felt very dizzy and I could not get up. It turned out I had a brain stroke.

A new journey for me

It was the moment that marked the beginning of a journey that I continue today. For the first three weeks I walked in the twilight of consciousness. After the ICU, against the opinion of doctors, I remained alive and moved to the Levinshtien Rehabilitation Center. I was silent, I could not move my right hand which was paralyzed. My willpower and the hard work they gave me, helped me return home after a year and a half. I could walk again, speak and move my hand partially. In cognitive test the drift I had in my brain destroyed some additional capabilities, such as the ability to do math and understand statistics and gave me attention and concentration problems.

To be a victim was not an option!

I my thought I had looked for the meaning of this in my life. It was hard for me to accept what landed on me, trying to figure out why it happened to me I thought that no girl would want me the way I am. It was very hard for me to part with complete control over half of my body especially since before the event I was an outstanding athlete. To be a victim was not an option! My personal wars did not stop for a moment, starting from staying in regular school, to go through physiotherapy every day, pass a number of surgeries in my hand and finally learn to get along with what is possible and what is not.

Every period and challenge I pass takes me forward in understanding the limitations

Next thing was to join the army. After six years of difficulties and delays I wad able to volunteer and join a combat unit called Sting as a Combat Support Team Soldier. I really liked the service there. Then, I signed up at Ruppin College to study for BA Degree and and finished successfully with an academic diploma. Every period and challenge I pass takes me forward in understanding the limitations that I have and how to deal with them or how to get around them. I know to insist on doing things, which indicates to me that I can do anything I want. I'm here today to tell you that I would not choose a stroke, but if something hard happened or will happen unexpectedly, you can turn it into a force that drives you in life and requires you to search for new meaning. Thank you very much.

EMPOWER OTHERS!

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