By Kathy Walsh

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– A Colorado man wants to ride his recumbent tricycle across the country. That’s amazing because, just about three years ago, Jim Cohen couldn’t move.

He’d had a stroke and he was “locked-in,” meaning he was awake and aware but he was paralyzed and couldn’t speak.

(credit: UCHealth)

There is no treatment and no cure for the syndrome. But Cohen battled back.

(credit: CBS)

Cohen is a world-class chef. But these days, he often cheats on the prep work and he makes quick meals in an Instant Pot.

(credit: CBS)

“It’s much easier for me,” he told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.

In 2015, things changed dramatically for Cohen when he suffered a stroke.

(credit: CBS)

“I couldn’t move. I thought I was yelling for my brother but I couldn’t make a sound,” he said.

Dr. Joshua Seinfeld (credit: CBS)

At the University of Colorado Hospital, Dr. Joshua Seinfeld found a clot blocking blood flow to Cohen’s brain stem.

“The clock starts ticking and you’re losing brain cells every minute,” explained Seinfeld.

(credit: CBS)

The neurosurgeon got the blood moving again, but the stroke caused “locked-in syndrome.” Cohen was trapped in his body.

(credit: UCHealth)

“I kept saying to myself, ‘No fear,’” Cohen said.

He had to learn how to breathe, talk and walk again. Cohen worked hard at rehabilitation.

(credit: UCHealth)

“I think I’m stupid and stubborn,” he said, “I made a decision… that I would do whatever was asked of me.”

And he had motivation.

(credit: UCHealth)

“I guess to walk Lexi (his daughter) down the aisle,” Cohen said.

Nine months after his stroke, the proud dad accompanied his daughter on her wedding day.

(credit: Cohen Family)

“And now I have a granddaughter,” he said beaming.

(credit: UCHealth)

Locked-in syndrome is rare. Cohen’s determination is impressive. Now, he wants to ride his tricycle to Buffalo, New York, his hometown. When this chef gets cooking, anything can happen.

(credit: UCHealth)

Cohen is featured in a series of advertisements for UCHealth, giving him a platform to thank those who’ve helped him and spread the word that anyone can do anything they set their mind to.

LINK: UCHealth

Kathy Walsh is CBS4’s Weekend Anchor and Health Specialist. She has been with CBS4 since 1984. She is always open to story ideas. Follow Kathy on Twitter @WalshCBS4.


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