Ed’s life was all about sports. From seeing his first World Series in elementary school to playing basketball, soccer, running track, and skiing through high school, his love of all things sports took a hold of him at an early age. Ed was captain of his high school’s varsity soccer team for two years and was a star team member of the varsity track team. You could find him with his dad every weekend following the Giants or the Yankees, depending on the season. During summer vacations, he would swim every day and water ski.
His athletic abilities carried over to college where he received a degree in athletic training and interned as an athletic trainer with the Miami Fusion professional soccer team. Ed’s professional career brought him to Bard College where he worked as Head Athletic Trainer and Director of Fitness and Wellness.
During one of his many opportunities to help his community, Ed signed up for a 10K race, raising money for a local charity. A strong runner still at the age of 33, he felt strange in the middle of this particular race. He sat for a moment, waited for this odd feeling to pass, and got up and finished the race. Two days passed when he suffered a severe headache and was immediately hospitalized. There it was determined that he developed a dissection of the carotid artery, usually seen in football and soccer players whose heads are constantly hit. Complications led to a stroke, putting him in a 47 day coma, and leaving him with aphasia. Gone were the days of water and snow skiing, running, playing soccer and basketball. Also gone was the spark that defined Ed pre-stroke.
As his parents say, Adler Aphasia Center, gave him back his life. Ed came to the Center in 2012. He couldn’t say many words and he was slow to meet other members at the Center, being one of the youngest members with aphasia. It took him almost a year for him to say the word, ”Dad”, again, a huge highlight for his father who hadn’t heard Ed call him that since 2005 and a pivotal point in Ed’s recovery. With his increasing confidence and self-esteem, Ed has taken the Center by storm. He recently took on the lead role in the Center’s annual musical production of Grease, using scripting to learn almost 90 minutes of lines and he has become the Center’s go-to photographer. With the support of his family and new friends at Adler Aphasia Center, Ed has redirected his life and developed new skills and abilities behind the lens of a camera.
And thanks to another younger member with aphasia he met at the Center, he has reacquainted himself with all the sports he once loved and has taken on new ones, thanks to area adaptive sports programs. If you ask him which he prefers- gliding, skiing, kayaking, golfing or sailing- Ed will tell you “all of the above.”