Published on May 23, 2022

'Such a Gut Punch'

brush strokes on abstract paining

Shane KinderA stroke at 47 was just the wakeup call Shane Kinder of Columbus needed. “It was such a gut punch,” Shane says. “It has helped me to appreciate things more and not to sweat the small stuff. I realize now that in a heartbeat, it could all be gone.”

Shane is the kind of guy who runs on fumes and requires very little sleep. He had already been up for several hours when, around 7 a.m. Feb. 28, he says, “things started going numb.” He knew something was awry, so he asked his wife to drive him to the local hospital.

There, a CT scan showed a hemorrhagic stroke, caused when an artery in the brain bursts and bleeds into the surrounding tissues.

CareFlight medical helicopter flew Shane to North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo, where a neurosurgery team was on standby.

Fortunately, the brain bleed stopped, so surgery was not required.

Shane spent five days in the Critical Care Unit and a few days on a medical unit before transferring to NMMC’s Rehabilitation Institute.

Over the next month, Shane worked with physical, occupational and speech therapists several hours a day to regain his independence.

Physical therapy focused on getting him walking again. Occupational therapy helped him regain use of his right arm and hand, as well as learn alternate ways to shower, dress and take care of himself. “I had to let go of a lot of pride,” he quips. “The team is absolutely amazing.”

As an on-air personality for 33 years, Shane has always been a big talker and “quick on his feet.” Fortunately, the stroke only slightly affected his speech, and he was back to producing his radio show on Alt101.7 in Tuscaloosa on his laptop computer from his hospital room.

Shane has nothing but praise for the Rehabilitation Institute team. “They push you hard,” he says, “but you know it will benefit you. You know they’re going to be right beside you, and it makes you want to do it.” Once home, he continued physical and occupational therapy at an outpatient clinic.

Since his stroke, he has stopped smoking and is doing a better job of controlling his blood pressure. He looks forward to returning to his job as creative director for the Columbus Arts Council on June 1.

Time is crucial in treating stroke. Know the signs and symptoms and if you suspect stroke, call 9-1-1.

A stroke at 47 was just the wakeup call Shane Kinder of Columbus needed.