Young Stroke Survivor Support Group Meeting

Our next virtual support group for young stroke survivors is happening on Thursday, June 24th, 2021!

Join us at 7 PM EST/5 PM MST/4 PM PST on Zoom where you will get to connect with other members of our growing community to discuss the topic of COVID + stroke with our special guest speaker, Teresa Schlintz—a mental health specialist. Read her full bio below:

My name is Teresa Schlintz and I am the owner of a new healing and wellness practice called Mosaic Wellness Journey. I am a licensed professional counselor, clinical substance abuse counselor, and doctoral student in counseling education and supervision. Throughout the past two decades I have worked in residential substance abuse treatment, interned within the post-traumatic stress treatment program in a veteran’s administration, provided group and individual counseling and case consultation within a state psychiatric facility, and offered case management services to the responders and survivors of 9/11 through the World Trade Center Health Program. 

December 2, 2019, my husband Jamie suffered a severe stroke, one week after receiving a quadruple bypass. Three days before the bypass surgery Jamie had shot an eight-point buck opening morning of deer hunting, pulled the deer down out of the woods, loaded it onto his truck and had it hanging in the garage – all on his own and before I arrived home from school that day. After the stroke he was not able to speak, move, or swallow. The neurosurgeons were visibly disheartened by the outcome of the surgery to remove the blockage and offered a grim prognosis for recovery.

Fortunately, one of my areas of interest in counseling has focused neuropsychology and the concepts of neuroplasticity and neuro cell regeneration within the brain. Early in my career I had been introduced to Mindfulness Practice, and this became both a tool I greatly appreciated in daily living and lifeline for me during times of challenge. An emerging body of research was beginning to support the power we hold to literally change our brains with our thoughts (Mindfulness often was studied as a tool to do this); having worked with individuals with horrific trauma histories, this was one of the most empowering concepts that could be imagined. 

Obviously, it is not as simple as Al Franken’s “Stuart Smalley” skit from SNL, but Stuart was on the right track (more or less). Looking back, the understanding of the brain’s ability to rewire itself was probably the one thing that help me to get thru the dark days after the stroke, that and an amazing family. I made it clear from the beginning that a nursing home was not even a consideration, either the hospital would find him a rehabilitation facility, or I would take him home. We were fortunate to be approved for admission to an amazing inpatient rehabilitation facility and Jamie is gaining back his independence more and more each day.

One thing I have learned through this process is the importance of having a “tribe”, people we can identify with and work with to heal together. My doctoral dissertation focuses on integrative care approaches to provide optimal wellness. At times it feels a bit daunting, but then I look at what others have faced and welcome the opportunity. 

Email or more information and to sign up. And if you’ve never used Zoom before, no worries—we got you! Here’s a step-by-step guide for how to use Zoomfor our virtual support group.

While we usually love to bring our Life After Stroke community together, unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic all in-person events within our community are on hold for the foreseeable future. Keep an eye out on this page though for all of our upcoming virtual meet-ups or—even better—when we return with IRL meetups. Can’t wait to see you all again and connect.

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