David’s Story

Welcome to my Stroke Recovery website.

My name is David Festenstein;  I am a Communication Specialist, Coach and Professional Speaker. In 2008 a stroke paralysed my arm and leg on my right side leaving me unable to walk.

I applied my communication training to deal with the event and then subsequently to drive my recovery process. In fact my Stroke Consultant said “It is one of the best stroke recoveries I have ever seen”. 

Language of Recovery

Throughout the process I kept an extensive diary and journal which reflected my “Language of Recovery”. When I reviewed my story and observations, I realised that I had used 7 distinct steps.

My Stroke Consultant encouraged me to speak at Medical Conferences where I got excellent feedback. On the basis of this success I began offering workshops, training and coaching to health professionals in my “7 steps to recovery model“. The Stroke Association even made a podcast of my story.

My Model Works With Any Medical or Personal Crisis

One of the most valuable observations made about my recovery model, is that it could be used for any severe health or personal setback. In fact one attendee at one of the conferences I presented at, said it could even be used to help people getting over a divorce!

How Can My Seven Steps to Recovery Help You?

  1. Reframe the experience, in My Case I said “I am alive
  2. Gratitude – Focus on what you still have rather than on what you’ve lost.
  3. Belief – Hold on to the possibility that you will get better.
  4. Vision – Create a vision of recovery; I created a bright picture in my head of being a better man back with my family.
  5. Manage your  Mood – My  diary and Journal helped me to record and celebrate every aspect of my recovery.
  6. Work with those supporting you – Collaborate with your health professionals to drive your recovery.
  7. Follow the process – Be diligent in doing your exercises and following your recovery regime.

Giving Back

My recovery was a gift which I want to give back,  not only to stroke patients but to anyone suffering from many different types of health and personal setbacks. I’ve become part of the Community User Engagement Team at The Centre for Innovation in Health Management at Leeds Business School as well as being on the Executive Coaching Panel at Warwick Business School.

More on My Story

I experienced my stroke shortly after returning from the National Speakers Association convention in New York City. You can read about my experience as published in the Professional Speakers Association speakeasy publication.