What a journey this had been.
Before I get started, listen... I have Effective Aphasia.
I suffered a stroke in Johannesburg, a big one. I was running a bath, bam!! I went lame, I struggled, I finally reached the door and shouted for my partner, help me. Neighbors came in and took me to the car.
I was delivered to Fourways, they were unable to help. I was airlifted and I had respiratory failure, I remember houses lights through the windows from the helicopter. I touched down and I knew I was in trouble. I remember in surgery, feeling overwhelmed by rushing Doctor, nurses and surgical tools... then nothing...
I had a huge blood clot removed from my artery in my neck. Unfortunately a few clots got away and made there way to my brain. I was on life support for a week and ICU for 4 weeks. My Mom, Pat, Cloene and Jeanette would pray, pray, pray but thanks to my doctors Dr. Omar and Dr. Rowji for pulling me through.
I was paralyzed down my face, arm and leg. I was unable to move. A magnificent team handled me. Occupational therapy, Speech tutors and physiotherapists. Emma and Zak were amazing, I was saying that no matter what they did or said I was going to walk. Walk I did, walked a lot. Does the parking lot count? I was walking all over the place.
I was finally ready, I climbed in an Ambulance and ready to go to Netcare Rehab. I immediately went to pool room and laid my eyes on the most holiest water I had ever seen. I was born at the beach and swimming comes naturally. I remember climbing in and heaven, it the most glorious thing I've have ever felt. The pool water just welcoming me, now I am reborn.
Before my stroke in Johannesburg in the winter I had constantly swam, even in the evening times. I relocated back to Port Elizabeth to be with my family.
First time at the beach, I struggled to get a wet-suit on and I committed to relying on myself, it did not go as planned. I was ready for my swim, I emerged with tears balling down my eyes. I had finally had a swim in the ocean.
It is the love towards the ocean, that made me feel safe. My own rehab, I was taking a cold plunge most mornings.
This is the Robberg full walk of 9,4km. I felt like I was going to fall, the right leg not behaving as it should. I'm not talking as I should, I am not walking I should. We made it, standing up on the ledge I knew I had done it. Diving is an extremely important part of my life, well recently. I jumped into the pool and I cruised.
Dave is now a super pilot, he had a Russian Jet Fighter and many names that I cannot remember. I remember taking off and then Dave said fly. Now my right hand wont work, I had to fly with my left. I stood level as I rounded Robberg and made while may way to Beacon Isle, we saw 10 whales.
These are the things giving me hope and confidence. Since the stroke, I believe my old ways of doing things are over. Diet and Exercise are key players in my longevity of life.
I am more present, and this has taken me long time to get right. I was constantly living in the future. Here, Now is my new mantra.
just bye the bye... I quit smoking after 11 years of doing it.
It kept me going up until this point, but know I know I require something different. Fast forward to the Ironman 70,3 at Mossel Baai 2024. The classic rock between the hard place kind of thing. 1.8km swim, 90km Bike, 21km Run. Let's go!!!!
What makes me want to participate in this ordeal, just so I can finish it, by next year 2035 a full Ironman.
Wishing you everything you deserve!
Daniel Pinheiro Goodman
Onwards & upwards, champ! We’re rooting for you.
Ann Johnstone Bennett
Onwards and upwards brave Christopher !
Wishing you everything you deserve!