I’ve always been a storyteller. Finding the right words to describe an experience—whether mine or someone else’s—has always been second nature. Storytelling is why I founded my company, Performance Architect, in 2012. It gave me an outlet for my creativity as I focused on leadership, human behavior, and exceptional performance stories that served to fuel others’ achievements.

I didn’t know that one day I would be writing my own story about making my choice for life or death.

You see, when I awoke on March 30th, 2014, I felt “off” in a way I’d never experienced before. I also remembered I had coffee scheduled with my friend Rochele Kadish later that morning, but based on how I was feeling, I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep our date. I sat up in bed and picked up my mobile phone to text her. No matter how hard I tried, something kept jumbling the message. Finally, I gave up. I decided to get some more sleep. I’d text her later.

Serious Trouble

As I laid back down, I felt an intense throbbing in my head. I turned onto my left side. The pain exploded with a bang! I’d never experienced anything so horrible. I tried but failed to change positions; I was too weak. At that point, I wasn’t thinking about my mother’s death from an aneurysm. Despite my discomfort, I drifted off.

When I awoke the second time, my right side was completely limp. I knew I was in real trouble. I also knew that if I didn’t get up at that moment, I might not wake up a third time. I could hear the TV downstairs that Jim, my husband, was watching. I just needed to get to him! I felt an adrenaline rush. With effort, I maneuvered my body toward the edge of the bed. Once there, gravity took over and I landed on the floor. I sized up the distance between where I was and the door. Adrenaline again flooded my veins as I dragged myself across the carpet. Using the strength of my left side to pull me along, I yanked myself inch by painful inch toward the door.

The Door Taunted Me

When I reached the fully shut door, it seemed as though it was taunting me. I stared up at the handle, knowing that I’d have to sit up to grip it. I lay there for a while, trying to catch my breath. I knew it would be a challenge to coordinate my half-working body so that I could grab the handle. I finally gave it a whirl. After several tries, I successfully grabbed the handle and the latch gave way. Success! The door was barely open, but that was all I needed. Achieving this feat took far too much energy. It was time for another rest. A few minutes later, I found the strength to pull the door open just wide enough for me to crawl into the hallway.

Since the surface changed from carpet to hardwood, I thought it would be easier to move along the hallway, but it wasn’t. My strength was waning. Slowly, I moved closer to the stairs. By now, I was exhausted. Moving even a little bit took every ounce of my strength. Inevitably, I ran out of gas; I couldn’t move.

Should I Live or Die?

I know now that I made a decision that day to live. I would do everything on my power to do so. My husband found me and got me to the hospital.

When you’re in a serious situation, do you decide to push forward? Or do you choose to let life go on without you?

Author's Bio: 

After successfully building her business over the last twenty-plus years, Marcia Moran thought she had life by the tail. Little did she know what was in store.

Marcia Moran has written over fifty business plans, and helped entrepreneurs strategize over how to differentiate their companies in changing environments. Her twenty-plus years of experience helping other entrepreneurs caused her to found her own firm, Performance Architect, in 2012 and co-founded Positive Business DC that same year.

After suffering a major stroke in 2014, Marcia applied her skills in planning and strategy as she strived to become whole. She never gave up. Over time she learned to walk again, but Marcia struggled with aphasia, a language disorder. She joined Toastmasters International hoping to regain her speaking abilities. It helped some, but in August 2017 she discovered a technological breakthrough that minimized her speaking disability. She then pushed beyond her comfort zone to become a Toastmasters International Club Officer in 2017, then Area Director in 2019.

A woman of many talents, she attended Skirinssal Folkehoyskole in Sandefjord, Norway and studied art. She also earned a certificate in Well-being Foundations of Personal Transformation from the Personal Transformation and Courage Institute in Virginia. She volunteers at Brain Injury Services, supporting their Speakers Bureau program.

Marcia created Stroke FORWARD because she felt there is a need to share hope to stroke survivors and their caretakers. Learning to become her own health advocate one step a time and exploring holistic methods for healing are keys to her recovery. Marcia speaks and shares her message of hope, inspiration, healing, and a way forward as she goes across the country. She welcomes new opportunities to help individuals affected by major health crises move forward.

Marcia lives with her husband Jim, two very loud cats, and two birds near Washington, DC. Jim played a role of caretaker and advocate. His observations and experiences are also captured in Stroke FORWARD.

On weekends, Marcia, Jim, and the cats go to Deep Creek, Maryland where Marcia paints watercolors. In the evening Marcia and Jim sit out on the deck and watch fireflies flit by.

Marcia holds a B.S. in Political Science with a magna cum laude from the University of North Dakota and a Master’s in Business Administration, from Chapman University, in California.

Visit www.StrokeForward.com for more information.