This feat seemed like a distant pipe dream in January of 2013. On New Year’s Eve, 2012, Blair had a stroke. At that time, doctors told his wife Janet he had a 50% chance of living and, if he did, he would likely never get around unassisted. He was in a wheelchair with his right side largely paralyzed when he moved into CONNECT Langley .
By the end of his nearly one-year stay at CONNECT, Blair was walking with a cane several times a day, was learning to write and draw with his left hand, had regained some mobility in his right arm, and was communicating better every day.
Blair, who is an artist and worked as a recruiter for trades before his stroke, moved home February 28 of this year with no home health and very limited supports.
Janet says she has been repeatedly surprised and impressed with Blair’s drive and ability to do things on his own. From showering to getting around the house, cooking and slowly working towards more and more independence.
Even with limited, though continually improving speech skills, Blair’s sense of humour is immediately obvious and the couple laughs a lot.
Janet says Blair’s friends have been supportive since his move home, dropping in to visit and taking him to movies. One of them, who drives a big truck, built a step so Blair could get into the truck without too much trouble.
Blair continues to practice walking without a cane and working on his posture. The mobility in his right arm is returning too.
Janet says there’s not a lot she has to help him with. In the summer, the couple had attended two parties in one week and were excitedly preparing for a holiday on Mayne Island.
“I wake up and Blair is already up and showered. I come home and he’s baking a pie or cooking sausages,” says Janet with a smile.
This fall, Blair’s goal, encouraged by his Occupational Therapist, is to start making proper meals.
Sitting at their kitchen table hand in hand, Janet acknowledges she’s always known it was important to Blair to be able to take care of her.
“He really does take care of me more every day,” she says with a smile. “We feel blessed and acknowledge how far we’ve come when we pray at night. And, interestingly, Blair’s speech is at its best when he’s praying.”