Harshada Rajani

Young Stroke Survivor

Harshada Rajani, hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina, graduated from Duke University in 2007 and began medical school at her alma mater immediately thereafter. In late 2008, at age 23, she suffered a vertebral artery dissection leading to a bilateral brainstem stroke and locked-in syndrome. She spent the next several months completely paralyzed from head to toe. Though she has made some progress, her life is still a struggle. With the support of family and friends, she is fighting furiously to regain her voice and her muscles, but in the meantime, she's found an even more powerful voice through her writing. She also co-founded a non-profit that is dedicated to helping people with disabilities afford rehabilitation.