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Join the Neuro Support Group


A neurological disorder, such as stroke, dementia or a brain injury, can change your life in an instant. The Neuro Support Group at Fairfield Medical Center is designed to provide education, understanding and hope to patients and caregivers who are navigating the challenges that come with a life-changing medical episode or diagnosis. The group regularly hosts guest speakers to address topics of interest, and also provides activities to promote group bonding and facilitate acceptance and healing.

Mark Vannoy

Mark Vannoy started attending the Neuro Support Group at the encouragement of a friend. After experiencing a stroke in 2018, Mark was left with partial vision in both eyes and permanent numbness in his right arm. From his very first meeting, he enjoyed interacting with the other members  and listening to the presentations from the guest speakers. He now rarely misses a meeting.

“Everyone shares their stories; it helps me to know there are others out there who understand – I think it’s helped my wife even more,” Mark said. “The group arranges speakers from places like the library and Meals on Wheels who let us know what is out there in terms of resources. There are so many things I wasn’t even aware of that are available at no cost.”

In addition to forging connections with other stroke survivors, the Neuro Support Group also introduced Mark to a new hobby – volunteering at Fairfield Medical Center. Mark became a volunteer after he was asked if he would be willing to call other members of the group each month to remind them of the next meeting. He now helps deliver mail to offices throughout the Main Campus, and recently celebrated a milestone of 250 volunteer hours served. “I’m scheduled to volunteer once a week, but I sometimes do more than that if they need my help because I absolutely love it,” Mark said.

Deanna Long started attending meetings in the spring of 2023 after her mother suffered a stroke and was subsequently diagnosed with stage 4 dementia. Overnight, Deanna and her brother became full-time caregivers, visiting their mother two times a day to help her with her medications and other daily tasks. “My mother is different from the person she once was and there were times when I would leave those visits and just feel the need to talk to someone, anyone, who would listen,” Deanna said.

Shortly after her mother’s diagnosis, Deanna received a call from one of the support group coordinators, inviting her to a meeting. Now a regular attendee, Deanna said the group has done wonders for her mental health while providing her with an outlet to ask difficult questions. “With the help of this group, I’ve learned how to be more patient with my mom, and more understanding that her behavior is typical for her condition and something she can’t control,” Deanna said. “I went into this not knowing anything about dementia. The staff who run the group have been great about answering my questions and directing me to any help I might need.”

The Neuro Support Group meets on the third Wednesday of every month (except December) from 4:45-5:45 p.m. at the River Valley Campus, 2384 N. Memorial Drive. For more information, contact Maggie Freeman at 740-689-6328.