Re-posted from The Times Tribune
Jay Goble woke up to friends and family members praying at his bedside in a hospital in Allentown.
A vehicle crash along Business Route 6 crushed his carotid artery, causing a massive stroke. Doctors said he would never walk or talk again.
Fourteen years after his crash, Mr. Goble, of Honesdale, will throw the first pitch at tonight’s Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders game, scheduled to start at 6:35 p.m.
Then the 48-year-old will ride his motorized scooter 22 times around the concourse at PNC Field – about eight miles – and walk a final lap with his granddaughter, Alexis Heney of Forest City.
“It’s going to be amazing to share the moment with my granddaughter,” said Mr. Goble, who credited his therapists at Allied Services for his recovery. “I told myself from the start I wouldn’t be bound to a wheelchair.”
Organized by Allied Services, tonight’s event – called “Jay’s Journey II â¦ Hope for Stroke” – is meant to raise awareness and educate people on strokes. May is National Stroke Awareness Month.
On average, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A stroke happens when a blockage prevents the flow of blood to the brain and can lead to life-changing complications, such as paralysis or problems with memory or speech.
Mr. Goble struggled for months to come as far as he has, spending weeks sounding out words and repeating tongue exercises at Heinz Rehab Hospital in Wilkes-Barre so he could speak again.
To relearn how to walk, he committed himself to a grueling regimen that focused on torso-work and balancing exercises. When he finally felt comfortable, he took his first steps on a treadmill while holding onto the handles.
As far as he has come, the road to recovery isn’t over yet. Mr. Goble still can’t use his left arm. But he is adamant that will change.
More than anything, he hopes his story provides inspiration to other stroke survivors.
“It’s all about having a positive mindset,” he said. “If you believe it, you can make it happen.”