Tedy Bruschi Surprises 16-Year-Old Who Suffered From A Stroke At Spaulding Rehab

Former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi suffered his first stroke in 2005. He was 31 at the time, and this actually turned him into an advocate for recognizing the signs. Bruschi started Tedy’s Team to raise awareness and break the stigma of at-risk groups.

The former linebacker suffered a mini-stroke this summer. It was his second stroke, and he recognized the symptoms right away.

Three months after suffering his second stroke, Bruschi surprised Ayden Merchure at Spaulding Rehab. Bruschi had never met the 16-year-old, but they share a really strong bond.

In September, the teen, a sophomore in high school, suffered a hemorrhagic stroke. Ayden was admitted to Hasbro Children’s Hospital, and recovered for a month and a half. After this period, the boy was sent to Spaulding Rehab.

It’s really uncommon for teens to suffer a stroke. Strokes are the last thing that pops in parents’ minds, and teens don’t even think about that. Stroke at 16? Not in this world.

Well, kids, it’s possible. Ayden’s mom, Jess Decorpo, was amazed with the strength her son showed throughout the recovery.

Jess describes her son as a mentally strong kid, but she didn’t even think that her son is this strong. Ayden was intubated for 24 hours, and he spoke immediately. He demanded things and recovered really fast.

“I knew he was a mentally strong kid, but this really proved tenfold that that’s very, very true,” Decorpo said. “He was intubated for 24 hours. When he was extubated, he spoke almost immediately. He wasn’t just speaking. He was demanding things. From there on, he really just surprised and amazed everybody at how much he could do and how quickly, how well, after something so significant happened to him. Physically, I’ve always known that he was strong, but really with something like this especially I think it’s more mental than anything.”

Bruschi’s visit was one of the brightest spots during the recovery process. The former linebacker and the boy talked about their recoveries, and even took a picture. Ayden got a football signed by Bruschi. “From one survivor to another,” Brusch wrote on the ball.

“I feel like it’s a memory that’s always going to be there and stay with me and help me throughout things that I might not get through on my own,” he said. 

Ayden returned home, and learned one big lesson. Everything is temporary, including the situations we’re in. According to him, it’s all about the mindset and our perception of things.

“I hope that they just learn that nothing is permanent,” Merchure said. “Any situation that you’re in, or my situation, you can get through it. It’s just all about your mindset and how you perceive things.”

Decorpo sees life differently, and she learned how to appreciate things in life.

“I didn’t think that he was going to live and the fact that I’m sitting here next to him today is something that I won’t ever take for granted again,” she said. “I’m grateful that I have a child that can still annoy me and still amaze me and still frustrate me and still make me feel overcome with such incredible love. It has put a lot of things for me into perspective and I’m just really, really grateful.”

Luckily, Ayden feels great, and will keep annoying his mom. Just like every other teenager. What’s more important, he will keep amazing his mom. His stroke was an eye-opening experience, and hopefully, no other teen will have to go through the same. Suffering a stroke can leave terrible consequences.

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