Caring for Doug

A Liverpool couple's love and commitment endure six years after a stroke changes their lives forever.

It was like surreal. You don’t realize what having a stroke means until you are actually living it.

Doug Paul lost everything he had known before his stroke in 2007. How to walk, talk, and eat were all forgotten. 

Six years later, Doug and his wife, Leesa, persevere as they face the challenges that his rehabilitation has brought. 

Even though the stroke has changed the Liverpool couple's lives, the two have only grown closer throughout the recovery process.

“It’s a grieving process the person you knew and were married too and cared for has changed," Leesa said. "That person is gone for the most part.

“And now, were on a mission together to fight and get him back up and moving."

Doug’s weeks are filled with rehabilitation and physical therapy, and Leesa left her job to become Doug’s full-time caretaker. The two still try to remain positive even through tough times.

“If I had a headache or something goes wrong or a bad day, it seems like it’s irrelevant compared to what Doug is going through,” Leesa said.

Leesa met Doug when she was 16, married him by the age of 21, and the two have been inseparable ever since.  That longevity marks it hard for Leesa to imagine being alone.

“I’ve always said I want to be the one that goes first, because I don’t think I would be able to deal."

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