Share Your Story: Attitude of Gratitude


I want to begin by saying MY GOD IS AWESOME! He has blessed me with a loving husband and 3 beautiful & amazing children. I love being a wife and mother. I feel that it's one of the most precious gifts (among others) that I was given. But I must say that this journey has not been easy.


On August 16, 2009 my faith was put to the ultimate test. It was a beautiful summer morning. My oldest son was 7, my daughter was 2 and my youngest son was 9 weeks old was home from the NICU. This was the 1st morning that I woke up without a massive headache. So I decided to enjoy the day with my kids. Then my hubby and I got a sitter and decided to go watch a movie. Well.... this was the quiet before another big storm...


During the movie my headache came back, and then I realized that my right leg felt like it was falling asleep, it felt weak. I kept shifting then told my husband that I didn't feel well. We decided to leave and head home. As hubby was hailing a cab, I began to experience the worse headache of my life. This scared me! I said a silent prayer. My ultimate fear was happening but the doctors and specialist that I saw since giving birth, said that I was too young for this to happen. Even the one a specialist I saw the day before told me I was too young to have a heart condition.


My husband had to carry me up 3 flights of stairs to our apartment (which was not easy being that I just gave birth, I was so heavy). My leg was too weak and my pain was excruciating. He laid me on the bed and ran to get me some pain medication. I remember calling out to him from my bedroom and he couldn't understand me. When I tried to say something to my oldest son he couldn't understand me either. That's when I realized what was happening. I reached for my cell phone to put my thoughts in text.. tears filled my eyes as I realized that I could not lift up the cell with my right hand... I quickly grabbed the cell with my left hand and typed CALL 911 I AM HAVING A STROKE! 


As I was being rushed to the emergency room I remember my husband saying "My wife is only 30". At the emergency room the doctor told my husband that I was having a stroke. This was the first time I had ever seen him cry. I remember thinking.. who is going to care for my family? My kids were so young. I was in the stoke unit for a week then had intense rehabilitation as an inpatient at the hospital.  I was the youngest stroke patient on the floor. I had to learn how to walk and use my right hand again. I kept praying, fighting and focused on getting back to my kids. 


Not being able to do the simple things that we take for granted daily like scratch my cheek, feed or bathe myself, stand up, walk and hug my kids was the worst ever. BUT GOD!!! It took me a year and a half to be strong enough to walk on my own without a cane. Lots of support, self-love, family love, prayer & strength got me through this fight. I appreciate the second chance that God gave me. Sometimes you have to be cut down to your lowest so that God can build you to your strongest. Appreciate every day that you are given. Have gratitude. Time is a precious gifts. Never loose faith. 


Thank you so much Jasmine Bernard-Straker for sharing your story. We appreciate you being open with your testimony and reminding us that God is a God of second chances. May God richly bless you and your family!


For His Glory Only,


Danielle J.