Hi, my name is Amanda Breckenridge, I am a stroke survivor! Music is my passion, especially singing! I grew up singing in a family gospel group. I was on stage at church singing by age two. My mom would stand me up on a piano stool and I'd sing with everything in me. I knew from an early age that the Lord was the light of my life. I love my family with all of my heart, I am so thankful for a great husband and children who are so supportive of me.
In 2001, I suffered a stroke when an aneurysm ruptured in my brain. I had been in a car accident earlier that week, when a CT scan showed an abnormality in my brain, which would later become my worst nightmare! Several tests were performed that week, I was to follow up with a Neuro surgeon on the following Monday, but while talking on the phone with my doctor the aneurysm ruptured! I screamed out to God help me! God help me now! The strokes knocked me to the floor in front of my young children who began to cry as they feared what was happening to their mom! I knew that if God didn’t move quickly in my behalf that I would die. Time is everything in a stroke! Especially a massive bleed to the brain!
I was taken to the hospital then air lifted to the nearest trauma Neuro unit 60 miles away! I spent the next few months there. I was inoperable! The only thing they could do was keep me stable. The doctors knew that I had another aneurysm just waiting to rupture at any moment!
I was finally sent home. I couldn't have visitors because I was so sick! My family was taking care of me, with visiting nurses, doctors, and therapist. One week after my return home, I had another brain aneurysm rupture, this time even more severe than the first. I had only a five percent chance to live. I was temporarily blind, I couldn’t walk, talk, or do anything! The strokes had destroyed my left vocal cord, and weakened my right vocal cord, so all I could do was whisper.
I had a seven hour Craniotomy (Brain surgery)! I was not expected to come through this, and if I did the docs thought it wouldn't be possible for me to ever do anything except exist. My friends and family joined together and prayed their hearts out! People who I didn’t even know were praying for me. I’ve never seen more love poured out in my life as I did when people joined together when I couldn’t even pray for myself, they reached God! A miracle happened because of that Love. I had to learn to walk , talk, and do most everything again! But by the grace of God, he pulled me from the wreckage and I was on my way to recovery!
I’ve had a craniotomy, over 40 angiograms, test after test, been in so many hospitals, university hospitals and research centers across America. I was told I was going to die day after day. I was diagnosed with Lupus stage 4, Ehlers danlos type 4, Vasculitis, Aneurysm disease, 3 massive Strokes, seizures, short-term memory loss, and I was temporarily blind! But through it all I have met so many wonderful people! God has opened so many doors for me to be able to share this Testimony!
Whenever I was so sick and weak from the strokes my doctor came into my room and said "Amanda I know how you love to sing, but you need a miracle, your left vocal cord is destroyed by the strokes and the right one is weak". I just looked up at my doctor and held my weak hand up to the Lord and whispered in my weakest voice, I will sing again" he smiled and said I believe you will Amanda.
To look at me now, it's hard to believe I’ve been through so much! It's my desire to send a message out to everyone, especially stroke survivors to never ever give up! We may not ever be a hundred percent again, but we can reach our goals with a lot of hard work and a positive attitude! We have to keep trying! I was able to attend a Christian artist training facility where I was taught voice lessons and vocal technique, music (guitar and piano) for four years and I did this post-stroke!
I sing with one vocal cord, and I write music all though I have a brain injury. You can do anything! Keep the faith, you'll get there. I want to encourage each and everyone of my stroke friends and all stroke survivors out there to keep trying and please never ever give up! I enjoy making videos of my songs and adding stroke survivors pictures to the videos. Some of my stroke friends enjoy singing along with my videos and I try to give them a few techniques to strengthen their vocal cords as well! It's fun and encouraging!
I love my stroke family! I hope that we can reach as many people as possible to make the world aware of stroke! Stroke doesn't discriminate, it happens to every age and gender! If we all keep working together to support each other, encourage, and inspire, we all win! I'm so thankful to be given this opportunity to be part of this great contest "Most Powerful Voices." I'm in awe at what you are doing for stroke and stroke survivors!!! You inspire me, you give so much of your time. As a stroke survivor, I want to say thank you! I appreciate everything you do! God bless you all!! …… Thank you everyone for your comments and votes!!!!! Please don't forget to click on the hearts to rate me and to save your votes!!!! Thank you so much!!! God Bless you all!!!!! :) <3 ...........
I want to share with you some details about my venues as a Singer**** I'm a singer/song writer. I have performed at many venues in most states around the USA such as Freedom Fest , Uniquely Union, Relay for life, Habitat for Humanity, Toys For Tots, Salvation Army, Local Heart and Stroke association fund raisers, Cancer Society fund raisers and walks, Church Services and Events, Missionaries of the World, Malls, Schools, Fort Jackson Army Post where I share my Testimony of stroke and songs to Soldiers, Parades, Car Shows, Races Like Big Buck where I sIng the National Anthem, Local TV and Radio Air Play and Interviews, such as WBCU , ETV, Dove Niteline TV, WSSL 100 FM Radio Most Beautiful Mother Award, Many Internet radio interviews , VHM Christian Artist Training School 2005 thru 2008....
I have a stroke awareness group called the stroke coffee house on Facebook. I'm a member of many stroke support groups such as strokes suck, and many stroke awareness and support groups, too many to name. I'm the historian for the traveling stroke awareness bears, Founder of Powerhouse and Airways for Christ Ministries. I'm a Videographer for stroke awareness using my original songs/music and popular cover tunes to create videos of stroke survivors reaching out and giving back to raise awareness of stroke.
You can find my Awareness videos at youtube.com/amandaatpowerhouse ....
Would like to share some helpful information about Stroke*****
An aneurysm occurs when part of a blood vessel (artery) or cardiac chamber swells, - either the blood vessel is damaged or there is a weakness in the wall of the blood vessel. As blood pressure builds up it balloons out at its weakest point. The swelling can be quite small or very large - when large it tends to extend along the blood vessel. As the aneurysm grows there is a greater risk of rupture - this can lead to severe hemorrhage, and other complications, including sudden death. Think of a balloon swelling until it gets so thin it Bursts!!!!! ............. ***Important health factors below can help prevent a stroke, limit its damage as well as possibly help you have a higher level of recovery!
normal blood pressure
healthy diet physically fit