NFL Cheerleader Learns How to Walk, Talk Again After Stroke Left Her Paralyzed
INSIDE EDITION visited Tessa David, who was just 27 when she suffered the devastating stroke a year ago.
As a cheerleader for the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, Tessa David was at the top of her game.
She even posed for the squad calendar and was named Miss July in 2012.
But then the unthinkable happened: she suffered a devastating stroke when she was just 27 years old.
It happened when she was coming out of the shower a year ago.
She told INSIDE EDITION: “I felt dizzy. My arm went numb. I had an intense headache.”
She woke up in the ICU. Doctors told her family that the stroke had affected 60 percent of her brain.
Her father, David, was in a state of shock. Like most people, he associated strokes with elderly people.
He told INSIDE EDITION: “I said: ‘No, it's not a stroke. They made a mistake.’
“She never smoked. Never done drugs. Exercised all the time. She'd wear me out watching her exercise.”
Tessa is now undergoing grueling physical therapy and working tirelessly to walk and speak again.
She said: "I can say it in my brain but my words can't come out."
Her right arm is still partially paralyzed so she compensates with her left hand.
Her brother, James, is helping his sister relearn how to read. Math and numbers seem like a strange foreign language to her.
The Colts cheerleaders also threw a fundraiser in her honor and gave her their support.
"I'm getting better everyday," she said, smiling.
To help Tessa with her recovery, visit her Gofundme page here.
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