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January 29, 2013 06:06 PM

Stroke Survivor Support

sioux falls, sd

Laverna Zeeb has been hospitalized ever since suffering a stroke three weeks ago. And though the Sioux Falls woman enjoys the flowers her loved ones have sent, the 86-year-old still isn't someone who likes to be limited.

"I was cleaning houses and apartments, and I really liked it," Zeeb said. "I thought I was a pretty tough old gal."

Zeeb is hoping to regain her energy and balance through rehabilitation. But who's helping her might surprise you.

"You develop relationships, yes," volunteer Dave Fox said.

Fox volunteers his time to help stroke victims.  He himself suffered a stroke in 2005

"I all of a sudden got a headache like I never had before," Fox said.

And while he still struggles with numbness on the right side of his body, his stroke first left him unable to walk or talk.

"Life as you knew it is gone," Fox said.

Fox considers himself lucky to have survived the stroke. Not only did he suffer one of the most deadly types of strokes, but he was also driving only 30 minutes before he had the stroke.

"That could have happened while I was driving to Fargo because I had not been in Fargo a half hour," Fox said.

But instead of dwelling on his problems, Fox decided to reach out to others who have also had a stroke.

"A lot of them are very happy to see someone who has gone through it and know they can walk again," Fox said.

Fox hopes he is a living sign of hope for those he helps.

"Life as they knew it pre-stroke is done. You don't have that anymore. You have to develop your life. You have to make a new one, but you can do it," Fox said.

It's that encouragement that Zeeb is looking forward sharing as part to her own future.

"If I can encourage someone else because people have been there for me and encouraged me," Zeeb said.

Fox began volunteering at Sanford just two years after having his own stroke. He now volunteers five days a week.

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