“I feel like god has given me a second chance at life, and I am going to take advantage of it.”

MeseretMeseret is a driven individual currently in the process of conquering an incredible challenge. It was only 13 months ago when Meseret suffered a stroke in his sleep.

“I was complaining about a headache, I took a couple Tylenol, and went to sleep. That is the last thing I remember,” Meseret said. “Sometime that night I had a stroke.”

Meseret’s father found him throwing up blood in his bedroom, and his parents immediately called an ambulance. On the way to the hospital he fell into a coma, and doctors performed surgery on his head.

“You can’t see it now, but there is a pretty nasty scar on the top of my head. Thank god my hair still grows,” Meseret chuckled. “That day I really should’ve died. It’s a pretty scary thought thinking you were supposed to die right?”

Meseret woke up in the hospital, confused as to what happened. He tried to speak to the hospital workers but everything that came out of his mouth was gibberish. He had lost the ability to speak. The hospital workers assured his mom was coming to visit, and she would explain the situation. Meseret fell back asleep for six days.

Less than a month after the stroke, Meseret was transferred to St. John’s Rehabilitation Centre.

“I remember being on the ambulance ride, and I felt like that was the moment I was born again. I was just out of it, and I woke up. It was a surreal experience.”

By the time Christmas came around Meseret regained his ability to speak. His mom came to visit him and told him he had a stroke, but he was going to be okay as long as he listened to the rehab workers.

“I was thinking, how the hell did I have a stroke?” Meseret exclaimed, “But I figured, no time to complain.” The week after his mom brought him shoes so he could start exercising. Keep in mind, Meseret couldn’t even stand yet.

“Not standing up my legs became like stick figures. I tried to stand up thinking ‘I didn’t suffer a stroke, let me get out of this bed.’” Meseret said. “Boom. I was on the floor. It was a traumatic experience.”

The nurses told him that he was going to have to make peace with what happened.

“They kept finding me on the floor,” Meseret laughed. “But by the New Year I figured, this is going to be a hell of challenge for me, but I am going to beat this.”

“All I did from that time on, was wake up, have my breakfast, bathe, and workout,” Meseret said. “I would go back to my room after, have my lunch, go to speech therapy, then wolf down my dinner, and sleep.”

Just a few months later, all that work paid off.

“The happiest day of my life was when I got out of there, April 1st, 2021.”

The doctors showed him the workouts he had to do to keep strengthening his legs, so he could continue to rehab on his own. They recommended that Meseret come to Variety Village.

Less than a year after his stroke, Meseret signed up at the Village to continue his rehab. “I signed up at Variety Village September 19th, 2021. I just started walking two days ago. It’s a miracle,” Meseret said. “I began practicing with the leg press machine. The day I signed up I couldn’t leg press 120 lbs. Now I am up to 300lbs.”

Meseret Leg Press

“When I first came in I had a walker, and today was the first day I got the nerve to leave the house without it! I got the cane and told my dad, “We’re going to leave the walker here, and I am going to with the cane, and that’s it.”

Another milestone achievement for Meseret.

Meseret’s recovery has been remarkable, and we’re glad we can follow his journey at Variety.

“I’m ready to get on with my life… I feel like god has given me a second chance at life, and I am going to take advantage of it.”