When Life Gets You Down

Tonight The Joe Niekro Foundation  Brain Aneurysm Support Group met for our monthly meeting.  Tonight, we came together and truly celebrated life.  This night, December 15th, marks the three year date of when one of our group members, Robin, suffered a devastating brain aneurysm.  She was at a Christmas party talking with friends and suddenly dropped to the floor.  She was rushed to the ER by ambulance and then life-flighted to St. Joseph’s Hospital.  Her family was told that she wouldn’t survive.  For 30 days, Robin lay still and lifeless in a coma while her family and friends prayed for a miracle.  That miracle came on day 31 when Robin woke up to find herself lying in a hospital bed, her head shaved, tubes throughout her body and no idea of what had happened.  Robin had not didn’t know how she ended up in the hospital, she didn’t know anyone’s name, couldn’t walk, talk or communicate.  But Robin didn’t let that get her down.  She perservered, fought and today is living proof that “When Life Gets You Down” you have to keep charging.  Robin was determined to walk, talk and communicate again – she wanted life, she wanted laughs and she wanted to live.  Through continued speech therapy, straining phsyical therapy and complete retraining of the brain, Robin now not only walks, she runs!  You see Robin didn’t know what a table, chair, door, shirt, picture, television, refrigerator, bed, clock….well really, Robin didn’t know what anything was.  She had completely lost the ability to remember what she had learned since birth.  Robin literally retrained her brain by learning by sticky notes.  Her family taped a piece of paper to every piece of furniture, article of clothing and every appliance in the house to stimulate Robin’s brain to learn everything over again.  They took pictures of every family member and friend, created albums with everyone’s name so she could learn who everyone was.  Robin PERSERVERED, she PUSHED and she PRAYED that her life would become normal again.  And I am here to tell you that today, Robin’s life is a true miracle.  What an inspiration she was to all of us tonight as she told her story, showed pictures, discussed her feelings and encouraged all of us to continue fighting.  Our support group is my second family and I have grown to love every single one of them with all my heart.  They have inspired me to perservere and push, just as they have.  So, to all of you, thank you and thank you Robin for reminding all of us why this fight is so important. 

Robin and Rex at Knuckle Ball 2010


3 Responses to “When Life Gets You Down”

  1. 1 Chris Coppens
    December 16, 2010 at 6:49 am

    A walking miracle! Robin, you couldn’t look any better. And Rex, you don’t look too shabby yourself! Coming to the meetings makes all the difference in the world to someone touched by this devastating disease. You just don’t know until you attend a support group meeting how much you need it … like sleep and air. You walk out of a meeting feeling renewed and hopeful. Again, we are so fortunate to have found this foundation. Hopefully in the not too distance future, there will be a support group for aneurysm survivors and anyone peripherally touched by this disease in every city the U.S. Thank you, Natalie!

  2. December 17, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    What a story!
    What an experience!
    Congratulations to Robin and my praises to all that have been the support group. Its not easy, and to come away with a miracle like this makes it all worthwhile.
    I told you that I was getting some items from Buzz Aldrin, and just want you to know that he has been on the road, and I haven’t had a meeting with him in months. But it will happen soon.
    Hang in there. You are an inspiration to all of us.

  3. 3 April Beck-Friends
    January 3, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Robin, You are truly my hero. When I saw you laying helpless in a coma 3 years ago I knew you’d come back to us because God still had some unfinished business for you here. I thought it was about being a grandmother. I can now see it is much more than that. You are bringing light and hope to those around you, especially those affected by brain aneurysms. You remind us daily that miracles do exist! love you a bunch! April

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