As Good As It Gets? – Survivor

Is it because they don’t want us to get our hopes up?  I will never give up hope. 

I have had lots of ups and downs over the past ten years since my bleed happened in 2011 and  Dr Lawton saved me with some really high-tech medical procedure he called the Cadillac of brain surgeries, a brain bypass. He harvested a vein from my arm and attached it in my brain for a  brand-new blood flow. I’m bionic now. My most recent neurologist told me that there will be an  implant to help me get rid of my stroke soon. I am not on a plateau. Plateau what? Sometimes I feel like I am though, but in retrospect I have come a long way.

My love of my God became more important to my daily life than my disability.  I would say that I put my all into everything. I put the glory of God himself into my music. Can you imagine what it takes for me to do that? I  don’t settle for less until the good is better and the better best. And I am challenged by the tests.

I have always been an entertainer. I wanted to perform for my friends before I finished my rehab. I was still in a wheelchair when my speech therapist taught me “Change Gone Come” by Sam Cooke and I learned it along with a lot of mouth exercises to help with my speech.

I felt depressed and sad at times because I lost so much. My ability to work, to drive, to create beats in my own studio, to perform, and I lost my vision. I had hallucinations and I was tired all the time. Then I started volunteering and holding Drum Circles for people in much worse condition than me; They had Alzheimer’s. I worked in a program called Music and Memories. I felt like I could still do something! My physical condition improved slowly. I didn’t need a wheelchair. I got special glasses. I got medicine for my hallucinations. The California Rehab gave me an Ipad, and lessons from the Lighthouse for the Blind helped me learn to get around with low vision. I had to learn to live with my disability.

I took up chair yoga and chair aerobics this year, and my balance is better. I don’t use a wheelchair. I need an enormous amount of sleep. My connection deepened with the many people in my community and family who have prayed with me for healing and helped me heal. I made a  new recording last year with my beautiful daughter Marissa. And Stephanie and I are engaged.

The joy I find in every little second of life, with my music and my rich spirituality, has continued from before I was sick, and makes me hope for more ability in the future. God is in control, and I’m so  thankful to be alive.

It took a million healing hands to make me a million-dollar man. Give Thanks for life. For more about me and my history as an aneurysm survivor and entertainer see my


Click the photo to learn more about Ras Kidus.