LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It was the morning of January 28, 2019. Dr. Christine Cosby-Gaither woke up to use the bathroom and, little did she know, it would be a 4 a.m. wake-up that would change the course of her life forever.
Seven months ago, Christine was walking with the assistance of nurses and her husband by her side, cheering her on and praying one day she could walk normally.
“I had a massive stroke,” she said. “They said there was nothing that could be done. They gave me a 5% chance of living.”
The massive blockage in her brain took away her ability to talk, move, write or even swallow.
At 35, the mother and wife had to learn life in a whole new way.
“There’s so many days that I could have just sat in bed. I don’t feel like moving. I don’t feel like doing nothing, but I had to tell myself, ‘you have to get up, you have to walk’ and sometimes, if I’m being honest, I didn’t feel like doing it,” she said. “‘Cause walking is hard for me but at the same time, I do so.”
Through the support of fellow stroke survivors, her family, and God, Christine found the strength to press on. She not only advocates for stroke survivors, but she is also helping them stay connected through their journey of recovery through social media.
“I started an Instagram page and actually, it started with me and my therapist. They wanted me to use that because they wanted to teach me how to talk. They wanted me to talk to a phone to talk to someone – so I started an Instagram called “A Stroke of Grace,” Christine explained.
A Stroke of Grace’s social feed is only two months old but already has 900 followers and counting. Her mission is to connect survivors, not only in Louisville but around the world, sharing inspirational messages that helped Christine along her journey.
“When I was on my hospital bed, my father said to me, ‘Be strong, be brave and take one day at a time’. It’s been one day at a time. The next thing is, he said, ‘You do what you can and let God do what you cannot do.’”
In the future, Christine plans to use her Stroke of Grace page as a non-profit. She wants to help stroke survivors with their mental health, their journey to recovery and the financial burdens that come with that journey.
Christine also co-organizes the Festival of Gospel Music at 4th Street Live which brings the community together through song.