March 22, 2020
#davidstrong #aveslax - David Moskowitz14 Members
Why We Walk
2020 Virtual Heart Mini (downtown event cancelled)
#davidstrong #aveslax - David Moskowitz
David Moskowitz – Stroke Survivor Story
At 17 years old, I was an active, happy and presumably healthy teenager in my senior year at Sycamore High School. I was having a blast playing varsity lacrosse and proudly wore #16 on my Aves LAX jersey.
During lacrosse training, I noticed the right side of my face was tingling. As I told my teammates how I was feeling we questioned if I could be having a stroke…yet, we didn’t believe it. I was a healthy, active and strong teenager. I could run a six-minute mile. How could I be having a stroke? We thought only older people had strokes. When I told my mom about the tingling, she took me straight to the Emergency Room. Despite my parents’ concerns there was something more seriously wrong, the ER doctor sent me home.
The next morning, December 18, 2017, I woke-up very early because the tingling had spread from my face down my right arm. I still went to school to take an exam, while my mom called the Emergency Room to insist an MRI be scheduled immediately. As I walked out of school to go with my mom and sister to the MRI, besides the tingling I felt good as my brother, teammates and friends wished me luck.
Shortly after the MRI started, I was pulled out, I saw the grief and shock on my mom’s face. I was told the MRI showed a life-threatening condition (brain bleed) that required urgent medical treatment by a neurosurgeon. Harrison EMS squad was coming towards us and an ambulance rush me to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
Immediately arriving to the ER, a team of neurologists and neurosurgeons explained how I had an inoperable AVM, arteriovenous malformation, or a tangle of blood vessels in my brain. The AVM caused a bleed in my brain and I was suffering from a stroke. Due to the critical location of the AVM, surgery was/is not a treatment option for me. My condition was as critical and immediately was move to the Trauma Critical Unit, under the extraordinary care of Dr. Sudhaker Vadivelu, and along his side was the phenomenal ICU attendees, fellows and nurses critical care team.
It is hard for me to remember what happened in the days and weeks to follow in the ICU. By Christmas, I had lost mobility of the entire right side of my body and, my left side and vision were severely weakened and compromised. My family told me Dr. Vadivelu and the ICU team worked 24/7 to keep me alive those first couple of weeks. I spent nearly four weeks in the ICU, during which time Dr. Vadivelu successfully performed an embolization procedure saving my life and Dr. Luke Pater performed radiation surgery at UC Health in hope of giving me a long life. I spent a couple more weeks in the Neurotrauma unit; prior to undergoing six months of intense Physical and Occupational therapies at UC Health, Daniel Drake Center under the incredible care of Dr. Bret Kissela.
It is a little over two years since I suffered a stroke from an inoperable brain AVM. I have regained my full mobility, strength and vision back. My scans from a few weeks ago showed good progress – the radiation surgery Dr. Pater performed in January 2018 is doing exactly what it was meant to do by diverting blood flow away from the AVM. It could take three years to see the full impact from the radiation surgery. In January 2021, my doctors will determine the risk of an angiogram for my condition. If an angiogram is deemed safe it would provide a clear picture of my brain and current medical condition.
Today, I am living a life infused with gratitude and a passion for living, and most importantly, living with purpose. I am proudly in my second year and semester at UC, College of Nursing working hard to earn a BSN. While UC’s nursing program is challenging, I am in awe at how much I am learning from this amazing program’s extraordinary team of professionals. I am excited to become a nurse and “pay forward” the same “best in class” medical care I am fortunate to continuously receive at Cincinnati Children’s Cerebrovascular Disease Center and UC Health.
Through this entire journey, I have felt grateful for the support and love I continue to receive from my LAX Coach, Greg Cole and AVES LAX Varsity Coach, Jeff Wolkoff, assistant coaches, teammates and families to keep fighting and living my best life. Together, we proudly lead the 2018 Heart Mini, 1K Steps for Stroke Survivors and 2019 Heart Mini, 5K Heart Race. Again, this year, together we will participate in Cincinnati’s 2020, Mini Heart 1K Stroke for Survivors and/or 5K Heart Race, along with my loving family and UC friends.
Lastly, I am joining UC Health, Drake Center, 2020 Heart Mini Team to show my appreciation to Dr. Brett Kissela, UC College of Medicine and the extraordinary team of Physical and Occupational Therapists at Drake’s Stroke Recovery Center for encouraging, pushing and ultimately giving me back a “normal” life. I am living proof of their commitment and capabilities for helping stroke survivors recover to live to their fullest potential.
THANK YOU for your continued support to me and Mini Heart. It continues to mean a great deal to me and my entire family.
#davidstrong #aveslax Team Captain
2020 Heart Mini