Brain Assault: Suggestions, Encouragement and Exercises to Help You or Your Loved One Overcome the Effects of a Stroke

Madelina A. DePaz

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ISBN: 1-57733-074-9, 136 pages, 5.5 x 8.5, paper, $12.95

Every 60 seconds someone has a stroke.
Stroke hits people of all ages.

Stroke: Brain-Assault is the story of one woman's experience of an aneurysm stroke. The book chronicles the years following her stroke and provides techniques she used in her recovery. Five years after her stroke, Ms. DePaz went back to graduate school and completed her MBA degree.

This book is for people who love or work with someone who has suffered a stroke. It is also for people who have the tenacity and desire to affect their own stroke recovery. Frame of mind is very important - focus on the future instead of mourning what's been lost, and make efforts, no matter how small, that bring back independence.

Stroke: Brain-Assault outlines:

"I exercise regularly, have brought my face back into balance, and have improved my gait as I walk. I still have a speech impairment, but I have discovered that I can write fluently on the computer. In writing this book, I have accomplished a significant angle of my brain redevelopment," comments Ms. DePaz.

You can be disabled but do not need to be handicapped.
Disabilities are real but so are abilities!


"An absolutely inspiring book! A magnificent story of one woman's struggle with stroke, and how she fought relentlessly to wrest her life back from its powerful grip. Madelina's story reminds us how precious life really is. Her story is sure to enrich the lives of all who read it. Especially highly recommended for anyone who has experienced an acute medical condition." John R. Shope, CFA

"Stroke: Brain-Assault by Madelina A. DePaz is a powerful book about a woman's determination to live beyond a massive stroke. She details precisely what happened to her and how she has struggled both physically and mentally to regain a sense of worth in her life. In the book, she details in words and illustrations, what a stroke really is and ways to combat the physical and psychophysical problems involved. Having suffered a stroke myself, I feel the book has a very powerful message to help victims of this malady. The various references to her dependence on God for strength makes one realize how important this is in our lives. Having had the privilege of knowing Madelina, I realize she 'walks the walk with God' and does not just 'talk the talk.'" Clara J. Vollmer

"A wonderful book! Stroke: Brain-Assault is for anyone who has personally experienced or has experienced through someone close a debilitating medical condition. Madelina's firsthand account of her struggle to restore her life after a severe stroke, written by her own hand, is both touching and inspiring. I highly recommend this book." Thomas A. Walther, Engineering Specialist

"Madelina DePaz could be your wife, mother, daughter, sister or friend. She is young, strong, educated, kind and soft-spoken. She is also a stroke survivor. In life, it is said that when one door closes, another opens. Read Ms. DePaz' story of determination and hope as she begins her life anew after that fateful September day. It's a great book! It describes stroke and the resulting mental and physical impairments in a logical, easy-to-read format. Highly motivating and inspirational for anyone who has suffered a stroke or for their friends and loved ones. Stroke: Brain-Assault is not only a sobering reminder that strokes can happen to healthy, active people, but it's also an inspiring guide to regaining independence, hope and a love for life." Lorainne Swintek, Roy Swintek, Mechanical Integration Systems Leader

Table of Contents

1 From the Midwest to New England
2 An Experience of a Lifetime
3 The Brain Complexity
4 Challenge the Paradigm
5 Looking Back
6 "Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining"
About the Author


I am compelled to write this book, to relate my experience to thousands of people in the United States who are affected by stroke, the number one cause of major long-term disability and the third leading cause of death by disease. Every sixty (60) seconds someone suffers a stroke and every three and a half (3-1/2) minutes someone dies from stroke. Each year, stroke hits six-hundred thousand (600,000) Americans, killing about one-hundred sixty thousand (160,000) of its victims and over one million survivors become permanently disabled. Stroke hits anyone - young or old.

Known as cerebrovascular accident (CVA), it occurred very sudden, in my case. There was no warning sign. It began with numbness and paralysis and in less than an hour, I was comatose. Stroke is not debilitating. But I believe that a victim has to fight. It is true that brain cells die and are not replaced by new nerve cells or neurons. However, the brain has the capacity to compensate the permanently damage fragments. The connected tissue can adjust some and the lost functions may be recovered through therapy and hard work.

The stroke-assault is devastating. The fact that it happened, I confronted it and refused to give in. I feel I am in control of my recovery. I mine the abyss of my mental power. This is my story.

Symposium Publishing (an imprint of Blue Dolphin), 2002

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