It doesn't take long after meeting Cindy to realize why so many people love her. Amazing personality, great attitude and you feel like you've known her all your life. Sometimes you just meet someone that you feel completely comfortable with instantly and Cindy is that person. She puts you at ease immediately with her warm smile and friendliness.
A teacher in the upstate for over 29 years, Cindy has been an inspiration in the lives of so many. In fact, it was one of her past students that nominated her to be a local hero. She has dedicated her life to educating and molding young minds; and it is time she is blessed in return for her blessings. Unfortunately, Cindy is no longer able to pursue her passion of teaching due to a life changing event a little over a year ago.
On January 12, 2014 Cindy started to feel "off". Thinking that she just needed some rest, she attempted to lie down...shortly after, she told her daughter something was wrong. Her husband quickly rushed her to the hospital, where doctors revealed she was suffering from a massive stroke. Her husband was told that news was grim and he should make plans for family to start making their visits and say their final goodbyes. You see, statistics show that only 1% of people survive the type of stroke Cindy suffered.
With a strong will to survive, she hung onto life- even if just barely. She spent 2 long and fragile weeks in ICU and underwent two brain surgeries. Doctors told her and her family that even after defying the odds of survival, she would probably never walk or talk again. Most people would give up by now; content with a life of surviving- not thriving. Cindy is different though and anyone who knows her will probably agree...she won't let a circumstance define her. After three months in the hospital, each day filled with multiple trips to multiple therapies daily (speech, physical, occupational and recreational) she was finally released on March 13, 2014.
Still bound to a wheelchair, she continued attending therapy in home for 12 weeks, followed by outpatient twice a week for 7 more months. Over time she grew stronger and began walking and talking clearly on her own. On November 20, 2014 she graduated from outpatient therapy.
There is no denying that this amazing woman played the leading role in a miracle. "A walking, talking miracle", her husband calls her, a result of sheer determination and divine intervention. Meeting her, I was in awe of her abilities and amazing outlook on life. I enjoyed walking the beautiful park, just talking to her and getting to know more about her. This woman has dedicated her entire life to changing others lives, and after just a couple of hours of meeting her, she's changed mine. I am blessed, as I am sure you all feel as well- to know her.