Local man dedicates life to helping others after massive stroke

- A young man in his 20's told our Bill Anderson that he was a recent grad, healthy and preparing for law school when he nearly died from a sudden medical issue.  Now he’s on the road to spreading light through his story of recovery.  We must warn you that some of the images of his medical challenges are a little graphic but he wanted to share all that he’s overcome to help inspire others...For Goodness Sake

Life was going well for Brent Wylie.  He was 23 years old, graduated with honors from Clark Atlanta University and was planning to go to law school.  Like so many others his age he was meeting friends one weekend to party and that’s when he told me his life immediately changed. 

“I remember turning the corner to walk into the club and I just fell over.  Not a trip where you can catch yourself. I just fell flat down like face first," he explained. 

Brent was a healthy young man with no medical history. Aware and initially embarrassed falling outside of the club and people yelling at him as if he was drunk or on drugs and telling him just get up. He tried.

“The bouncers were trying to stand me up against the wall and every time they tried to stand me up I kept slipping. Once they did that for the 2nd or 3rd time they were like we think you had a stroke," he explained.

Brent was shocked and still in disbelief but not fully grasping the situation. It wasn’t until friends called his mother that the severity of what happened began to sink in.

“They talked to us and showed us X-rays and said the brain is swelling and if it has nowhere to go its gonna go inward and that could kill him.  They said we have to do this operation," his mother said.

The operation involved removing a large piece of Brent’s skull but that was just the beginning.  Recovery meant physical therapy, experimental, alternative medicine and diet change. Although Brent and his mother are appreciative of the actions of their medical team they said they became aware of the lack of resources and support particularly for young stroke victims.

“When I left inpatient I thought I was gonna get a certain amount of things to help me get back.  But they just gave me a wheelchair and I was like I know I’m not gonna be in a wheelchair forever,” Brent explained.

Now 5 years later, law school was put on hold because of issues with seizures and Brent decided that he needed to take his knowledge but also his challenges and start a new foundation to try to help others in similar situations.

“It's called Team Brent at the Stroke of Midnight. I started my foundation obviously to raise awareness but to help people get the things they need because there’s only so much insurance will do.”

Brent has also created a movie sharing his struggle, his information and his positive attitude that doctors say has made all the difference in recovering from such a major stroke.

“I know for a fact I’m gonna get better but it takes time and it takes a lot of work. You need those things to get there and I’m doing my best to help not just me but everybody else get them.”

Brent started as an example of dedication and achievement, suffered a major setback that he believes redirected him to another purpose and now that purpose will hopefully inspire others.

His foundation is holding a fundraiser for more information, please click here.


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