A Date Night for Stroke Survivors

The road to recovery is long. Dinner and dancing are good medicine.

Date night guests Frank and Virginia Birdsong. Courtesy of Chia Chi Chang

For stroke survivors, one of the biggest challenges is returning to normalcy—the things so many of us take for granted, from household chores and buttoning a shirt, to holding a fork and going out to dinner.

With this in mind, Virginia Hospital Center last October hosted its first Date Night, an elegant evening of food, music and getting dressed up for stroke patients and their plus-ones. For many, this was their first time “dining out” since their stroke.

Although the event was held inside the hospital with medical staff on hand, it was a classy affair.

“There was wine, hors d’oeuvres, beautiful decorations, a photographer,” says attendee Tiffany Blackwell. “It was great to just have a night where [we] didn’t have to worry about anything.”

Blackwell was 31 when she suffered a brain-stem stroke. Nearly two and a half years later, she’s still recovering. Fine-motor tasks like typing and styling her hair remain a challenge, she says, but having a date with her husband, Jerrell, helped her forget all of that for a few hours. Plus, she says, “I had lamb chops and they were delicious.”

The hospital is now planning to host a second date night in March—this time with help from a local restaurant.


Categories: Health & Fitness