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Advocate, Author, and Now a Stroke Survivor: Life is Good

Advocate, Author, and Now a Stroke Survivor: Life is Good

Advocate, Author, and Now a Stroke Survivor: Life is Good

Leroy McClure Jr. led an active lifestyle at age 61. Leroy ran his own non-profit educational consulting business, had opened charter schools for students with autism across Texas, and became the first African American language therapist. He also worked out five days a week and enjoyed spending time with his eight grandchildren.  

But on the morning of July 30, 2021, Leroy was lifting weights at the gym when his head began to hurt, and he started slurring his words.  Leroy was suffering a hemorrhagic stroke due to a ruptured brain aneurysm. Doctors discovered that Leroy was born with a cerebral arteriovenous malformation (AVM), or a tangle of blood vessels within the brain.  

His stroke caused weakness on his left side, speech deficits, and poor vision.  Most significantly, Leroy was in a wheelchair when he arrived at Centre for Neuro Skills’ Dallas clinic. “I was not in a position to return home after the hospital. I didn’t want to be a burden to my wife or daughter,” he said.  

Leroy spent six weeks in CNS’ inpatient rehabilitation program, where he quickly regained his speech, began walking again, and successfully completed the Cognition Module, a clinical tool developed by CNS founder Dr. Mark Ashley that helps to restore communication abilities through increasingly complex module levels. As Leroy transitioned to CNS’ day treatment program, he was grateful to return home but knew he had a long road of recovery ahead. 

Leroy McClure's book cover, Life is Good, Post StrokeAfter two years of intensive outpatient therapy, Leroy is now running, working out again, and sharing his story with others. Case Manager Kimley Hathaway describes Leroy as a mentor to other patients in the clinic. “He goes an extra mile to improve not only for himself but also to encourage fellow patients,” she said.  

Leroy was determined to improve his mobility and strengthen his left leg to return to a life of independence. Leroy arrived early to the clinic each day to reach his walking goal of 10,000 steps. During these walks, Leroy would greet and offer words of encouragement to each patient he met. "At the clinic, I was fortunate to be there to help others. I look forward to meeting new patients and encouraging others to find their journey," he said. Peer support is one aspect of CNS’ clinical environment that can be vital for a patient’s recovery.   

Today, Leroy has completed his therapy program and has adjusted to a new daily routine consisting of workouts and driving his wife around town. Leroy shares his stroke journey in his recently published book, Life is Good, Post Stroke: I Am Now Better Not Bitter. He is excited to tell his story and continue to be an advocate for stroke awareness, the African American community, and youth education.  

"Since I've had my stroke, I've learned to slow down and enjoy the little things in life," he said.  

Watch Leroy's Stroke Recovery Journey: Life is Good now!