PORTLAND, Ore., Sept. 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — David Morrill suffered a debilitating stroke in 2013, which permanently damaged his vestibular system and left him with chronic dizziness and imbalance. Today, David is helping thousands of people through advocacy and mentorship.
Vestibular patients like David may look normal on the outside, but inside they struggle to maintain their balance, and their sanity.
In August 2013, David experienced a sudden onset of vertigo. Doctors later discovered that he had suffered a stroke. David was angry and depressed. In addition to losing his balance, David lost his job, his purpose, and his sense of self.
“When I first started having my vestibular disorder, I didn’t talk about my problems,” says David. “I didn’t want to be a burden on people.”
The fact that most people do not understand or have never heard of vestibular disorders makes it challenging for vestibular patients to share their conditions and get the support they need in their recovery.
David discovered the Vestibular Disorders Association (VeDA) and a community where he felt both listened to and understood. He was so moved by his experience that he spearheaded the VeDA Ambassador program, which engages patients and healthcare professionals in raising awareness about vestibular disorders within their social networks.
“I found that helping other people through volunteering helped me move forward and heal,” says David.
David says being an Ambassador is the best thing he’s done in his life. “If I can help just one person understand their vestibular disorder, my mission is accomplished,” says Morrill.
Today, David has transformed his anger and depression into energy to help others. “It helps me stay positive and gives me a sense of purpose, keeping my mind away from the dark places,” he says.
David is leading efforts to raise awareness about vestibular disorders through VeDA’s Balance Awareness Week, September 18-24, 2022.
Balance Awareness Week is the Vestibular Disorder Association’s (VeDA) annual campaign to broaden the awareness and understanding of balance-related vestibular conditions. The goal is to make “vestibular” visible, so patients can be rapidly diagnosed and effectively treated. While many balance disorders are incurable, faster and more accurate diagnosis, along with effective coping strategies, can greatly improve quality of life for those who suffer with these invisible chronic illnesses.
ABOUT VeDA: VeDA is the leading international organization for information about vestibular (inner ear and brain) disorders. VeDA supports people with vestibular disorders by connecting them to health care specialists and support networks, and promotes awareness of the vestibular patient experience.
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SOURCE The Vestibular Disorders Association (VeDA)