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Fit Folks: Exercise aids stroke recovery

Pam LeBlanc
pleblanc@statesman.com
From left Leo Fradkin, William Travis Crooks, Ricardo Palacios and Israel Gutrierrez.

William Travis Crooks, 67

On Jan. 8, 2011, I was admitted to Seton hospital and diagnosed with a cerebral artery stroke. The doctors said the left lower part of my brain had died and the left vertebral artery had totally collapsed. They said that most patients have another stroke within a year. I was told I needed to change my diet and do aerobics. My co-worker and students started teaching me to play basketball. At first I could last about 15 minutes, but after going from a 40 to a 32 pant size and losing 25 pounds, sometimes we play for three hours. I went to the doctor last week for a stress test, and my doctor told me I am in better shape now than when he first saw me in 1984. If I continue to progress, I will be released from the Brain and Spine Center. There is life after a stroke and I owe it to the men in the picture for pushing me.

We’re looking for Central Texans who keep fit with interesting activities. Tell us — in 100 words or fewer — about yours. If you have a photograph, include that as well. Send your name, age and contact information to Pam LeBlanc, Austin American-Statesman, 305 S. Congress Ave., Austin TX 78704 or e-mail it to pleblanc@statesman.com.