Stroke Survivor Jack Donohue Dances His Way To Recovery; 'We Started Out With Ballroom, And I Wasn't very Good At Leading'
CHICAGO (CBS) -- How about some Monday motivation? The Morning Insiders bring you the story of a senior who got knocked down, but he got up again; all thanks to the quick thinking of his daughter.
CBS 2's Lauren Victory explains how stroke survivor Jack Donohue got back on his feet.
"We started out with ballroom [dancing] and I wasn't very good at leading," he said.
But line dancing clicked for Donohue and his wife, Sarah.
"You go to these meetings about retirement, and they say, 'You've got to find something to replace all your time,'" he said.
Decades of dancing later, Donahue took a sudden sidestep to the emergency room.
"He thought he was having a heart attack," said his daughter, Mary Rachford.
But she noticed her dad's left shoulder was uncharacteristically weak.
"So when the doctor came back and said, 'You look good Mr. Donohue. Everything is fine with your bloodwork. You didn't have a heart attack. You can go home,' that's when I said to her, 'Can you take a closer look?'" Rachford said.
"I guess it saved my life. How much can you say besides that?" Donohue said.
That second medical evaluation revealed the 89-year-old Elmhurst man actually suffered a stroke.
"I was pretty surprised and relieved that at least it was caught, and he didn't go home and possibly have another stroke," Rachford said.
Donohue immediately began physical therapy.
"It's a little boring," Donohue said of the repetitiveness.
But here's an exciting twist to this tale: his daughter didn't randomly solve his medical mystery. She's seen it over and over as a physical therapist and owner of FYZICAL Therapy and Balance Centers Naperville.
"He hadn't lifted anything, he didn't fall, there was no injury that occurred the day before so [in] my mind, that tells me there could be a stroke going on," she said.
Donohue still uses a walker, but otherwise is feeling good enough for post-stroke dance moves.
He hopes to take his wife on a dancing date in public soon.
"We've both been vaccinated," he said.
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