Preston Allen, a professor of creative writing and English at Miami Dade College’s North Campus, has recovered from a stroke he had in February, which left his right arm and leg immobile.
“Miracles happen, because Preston is truly a miracle,” said Allen’s wife, Dawn Marache-Allen. “At this point he says that he is 95 percent Preston and that’s great to hear from him, not from me or the doctors.”
After being hospitalized on Feb. 20, Allen spent 40 days at Memorial Regional Hospital in Broward. He was transferred to the hospital’s rehabilitation facility on Mar. 17, where he began began physical, occupational, and speech therapy. Two weeks later, he was released and was able to go home.
“Doctors save your life and the people in therapy give you your life back,” Allen said.
Allen worked on regaining his memory and restoring movement to his right arm and leg in his therapy sessions. Toward the end, he was walking and writing.
“I wrote them a letter on my last day [of therapy]. I could walk and use the bathroom standing up. I could clap and do other things using my right hand,.” Allen said. “I wrote the letter with my right hand to show them my appreciation for their service.”
Before therapy, Allen needed a wheelchair; now he only needs the support of a cane.
“Of all the patients that I have ever worked with that had a stroke, Preston was the most miraculous to me,” said Allen’s physical therapist Karen Cowans. “I have been doing this for six years and I have never seen anyone progress so quickly.”
Allen will be returning to North Campus this fall and will be teaching ENC1101 and ENC1102.
“It will be more than wonderful to have Professor Allen back,” said North Campus Dean of Students Malou Harrison. “We continuously have our colleague in our thoughts, and with uplifting wishes.”
As for Allen’s family, he and his son Quinn, 16, are back to having their trademark “intellectual conversations.”
“The other night we were watching the Miami Heat play the Chicago Bulls and he tuned out because the Heat were down,” said Allen. “I told him ‘don’t give up.’ ”