(PIX11)–“We have the best daddy, there are so many things we love to do with daddy,” Noah Berman said.
Noah’s father, Brad, has gone through a lot.
“One day, daddy got sick and had to go to the hospital to rest,” Noah remembered.
“I walked in and he was laying on the kitchen floor, conscious, able to speak but slurring,” Jessica, Brad’s wife, described. “His pupils were totally dilated, his arms were in the air and shaking and he said I can’t move.”
That was on August 4, 2013.
At first, the Berman family thought Brad had pneumonia, then the doctors explained it was his brain.
“The surgeon came in and said it was an AVM,” Robert Berman, Brad’s father said. “We had no idea what that was, we had never heard of it.”
An AVM stands for arteriovenous malformation and is an abnormal collection of blood vessels in the brain.
That caused 37-year-old Brad Berman to suffer a stroke.
The surgeon removed half of his skull and stored it in his abdomen for blood supply.
Brad was in a coma for nearly one month.
“I woke up and noticed I had a headache,” Brad explained. “I saw a mirror and realized my head was oddly shaped.”
But he never let anything break his spirit.
“He would joke about it to us and say you know look at me, I feel like Mr. Potato Head,” Robert said.
That sense of humor, along with hard work, love and support, Brad relearned how to breathe, walk, talk and eat, quicker than anyone ever expected.
In October, Brad underwent more surgeries, this time to put that piece of removed skull back in his head.
Throughout everything, the Berman’s had an incredible amount of community support.
“I really felt compelled to marshal that positive energy and turn it around into something good,” Jessica said.
“My favorite hobby before all of this was running and that’s what I miss,” Brad explained.
So, the Berman’s started the Run 4 Brad movement.
They have already raised more than $150,000.
All of that money will be given back to the community. It will go towards education, research and to help other people with brain injuries.
One of the team’s milestones is Saturday, April 5th.
More than 300 runners will compete in the Scotland 10-K tomorrow in Central Park.
Brad lost a lot of motion on his left side. At first, he could not even move his leg, but not he does more than just move it.
He walks, usually with a cane, around the neighborhood.
“I can go for about 30-45 minutes now,” Brad said. “My family says it’s starting to be more fluid.”
He also struggles using his left arm. He can raise it, but cannot use it like he used to.
But, the outlook looks good for Brad.
He said the doctors believe with therapy, while it may take years, there is a “good chance of recovery.”
Brad even hopes to return to his job as a tax attorney with General Electric.
What Brad cares about more than anything though is his family.
“I wake up every day thankful,” Brad said.
“What I hope people learn from this is not to be afraid,” Jessica explained. “But to just appreciate every moment.”
“It’s really, truly, if you believe and I do, a miracle,” Marsha said.
And when I asked the kids what they love the most about their daddy, they said, “That he got home.”
If you would like to donate to his cause, click here: http://www.crowdrise.com/run4brad
Produced by: Kim Pestalozzi