Going through a medical crisis is hard on the whole family. It’s like we all had post-traumatic stress disorder. But I believe that when the going gets tough, you just go all in.
So I did. I saw myself as a plow, just plowing through to keep things running as close to normal as possible. And together as a family, we faced our fears and sadness with strength and resilience.
It also helped that we felt so supported by Dr. Jeffrey M. Katz, the stroke neurologist who, along with his amazing team, cared for Noah while he was in the hospital. They were so patient and reassuring. I can’t tell you how many times Noah would be crying and wondering if he was going to survive this, and a nurse would be there, sitting by his bedside, just listening.
And of course paying attention to Noah’s emotional health was just as important as his physical care following such a shocking diagnosis. After a medical crisis, you need to have your tears, maybe get angry, and work through all your emotions. It’s really essential to have someone to talk to and Noah’s therapist, Dr. Norman Fried, was an essential part of his recovery.
I’m also grateful for the doctor at LensCrafters who sent us straight to the ER. We were so lucky he knew it was a medical emergency. I called him from the emergency room and thanked him over and over again.
After taking a semester off, Noah was ready to return to school, where he created his own major: Business of Entertainment, with a minor in Media and Technology. He was going back, but as a new person, so we needed to make some changes. He didn’t want to live in his old apartment—it reminded him of his stroke. And since he still had some peripheral vision problems, we were worried about him crossing streets and reading signs in the city. So he became a commuter student.
Noah is doing great. He’s braver than he has ever been. He is confident, happy with himself, and refuses to dwell on the “what ifs” of life. He tries to do something new every day, even if it’s just trying a new food. Making good choices with his health, getting enough sleep, and doing fun things with friends has helped him stay positive.
I always tell my boys that out of something bad comes something good. Sometimes you just have to look a little harder to find the goodness in it.
I think Noah is stronger and more compassionate as a result of this. It’s really nice to see how he and his friends are there for each other.
This December, Noah graduates from college, but his official graduation ceremony will be next May when he walks with the whole class. We’re incredibly proud, especially knowing what he had to overcome to get to this point. And Noah is very excited because the graduation is going to be at Yankee Stadium—he’s a diehard fan! Go Yankees! Go Noah!