Thursday, 08 August 2013 00:00
Friends of Petra Dehler, a Garden City mother of two teenage sons who suffered a severe stroke in April, have teamed up to create a fundraising effort named in her honor—Petra’s Promise.
Petra’s Promise was founded to raise funds to help defray the cost of Petra’s longterm medical care and rehabilitation. Though she has made tremendous progress, Petra will require extensive medical care. Physically she has grown stronger but she still suffers from right side paralysis and weakness. Her condition will require a trained aid for assistance. Petra is also suffering from the effects of aphasia. Aphasia, a common aftereffect of a stroke, is a communication disorder that impairs a person’s ability to use and comprehend language. Speech therapy is the most common form of treatment.
According to her husband John, Petra’s vocabulary is growing every day. She recognizes and remembers almost everyone she sees. It is her difficulty communicating that is frustrating.
On Saturday, Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m. all are welcome to attend an Oktoberfest themed fundraiser. Further details will be forthcoming. Tickets will be $100 per person. To learn more and reserve a spot via PayPal, please visit the fund’s website at www.petraspromise.com
Dehler is a vibrant member of the Garden City community and like many moms in town she was always heading out to one of her son’s baseball or soccer games. Her sons, Johnny and Timmy are the light of her life. In the stands, she’s known for being an eternal optimist. A typical mom, she was always taking care or worrying about someone else.
This devastating stroke has altered the course of both Petra and her family’s lives. Husband John is a Garden City native and former director of racquet sports at the Port Washington Yacht Club and is tennis instructor for Garden City’s recreation department. He has been by his wife’s side supporting her progress along with their two sons.
Providing updates on his Facebook page, he describes his wife Petra’s bravery:
“Throughout all of this Peety (Petra) has had the most positive attitude. She truly is an amazing person. This I already knew but she has taken it up a level. Her positive attitude is so infectious she has managed to keep me, our sons, family, friends and the staff at Sands Point in such great spirits. She has helped us all keep hope for a complete recovery alive. She is my inspiration.”
Friends hope that Petra’s Promise also serves to raise awareness regarding the incidence, warning signs and symptoms of a stroke. Strokes are on the rise in young women by up to 40 percent. Women are more likely to die from a stroke than men because their symptoms can be less common and are more easily missed.
“With our hearts we have created Petra’s Promise,” said good friend Terry Goulard. “We all have families and understand the difficulties an illness can reap. Petra’s love of life and uplifting personality are truly the pulse of Petra’s Promise. We hope the community comes out for this fundraiser.”