UF Health Shands Comprehensive Stroke Center: Patient Stories

Steve Maynard and family


Alachua County Sheriffs are highly trained in firearms and diligent about safety precautions, but a medical emergency during shooting practice took everyone by surprise. Dozens of first responders suddenly were called on to save one of their own, who suffered a stroke. Follow Steve through his journey, from his life threatening moments to an outpouring of support and finally a journey back that would change his life forever.

See Steve's Story

See William's Story


Twenty-eight years ago, William and Willa Gray were on their honeymoon, soaring toward the top of a glacier in a helicopter.They stopped there to enjoy the view with some wine and cheese. In that moment, they never thought one of them might be in a helicopter nearly three decades later suffering from a stroke.

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See Catherine's Story


Catherine awoke in the middle of the night and was unable to move her legs. Her husband’s face was distorted, and the words she tried to say just wouldn’t come out right. Her husband, Harry, realized something was terribly wrong, and called an ambulance.

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See Robert's Story


Robert Passmore felt a strange sensation as he was sitting on the couch one day. He tried to get up, but couldn’t. After a few minutes, he realized the entire left side of his body had gone limp.

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See Lillian's Story


Lillian Rooks, 59 years old, awoke one spring morning, and felt like she did any other ordinary morning. However, when she stepped into the shower at 9:30 a.m., she slipped and fell. When her daughter found her on the shower floor, her left face was drooping, she had paralysis of her left arm and left leg, and she had difficulty speaking.

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See Barbie's Story


Healthy and active Barbie Diaz suffered a stroke at age 18 while driving, which caused her to crash and hit another car. Diaz was immediately taken to UF Health Shands Hospital where she entered the UF Health Shands Comprehensive Stroke Center. Doctors there diagnosed Diaz with a rare disease called Takayasu’s arteritis.

Read Barbie's Story

See Erik's story


Erik Del Castillo made a strong recovery from a stroke because of early detection of symptoms and rapid treatment from our comprehensive stroke team.

See Erik's Story