CHARLESTOWN (WHDH) –Patriots legend Tedy Bruschi was in Charlestown Thursday, unveiling a new facility aimed at helping stroke survivors, like him, make a comeback.

Bruschi, a three-time Super Bowl champion, and his wife teamed up with the MGH Institute of Health Professions to open the new center for stroke recovery. Speaking at the event, Bruschi said he hopes the center will give people similar rehabilitation options like he had when he suffered a stroke 18 years ago.

“This a place that involves teaching, learning and recovery. We provide it to people free of charge, and that is something we are both very proud of,” Bruschi said alongside Heidi, his wife.

Bruschi was 31 when he suffered his first stroke in 2005. His physical therapist at the time was Anne McCarthy Jacobson, who was in Charlestown for the event. 

“He considers his stroke was a sign that he was meant to do something greater,” McCarthy-Jacobson said.

After his first stroke, Tedy and Heidi founded Tedy’s Team —  a non-profit organization that works to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of stroke, and to break the stigma of who can have a stroke. The team grew to an endurance training team, when Tedy was able to secure bibs from the Boston Athletic Association for the Boston Marathon as a member of their charity program. The focus of the team was still awareness, but through the running team, Tedy’s Team has helped to fund life-saving research.

The money raised by the team has allowed the Bruschis to gift $1,000,000 to create the Tedy’s Team Center of Excellence in Stroke Recovery.  The center will offer stroke survivors the opportunity to recover free of charge.

“For each one of them, it’s different,” Heidi Bruschi said of survivors. “So, to be able to come here for as long as needed, it’s really special and it’s really important.”

“Your care doesn’t end when your insurance says it ends,” Heidi added. 

The new stroke center will leverage the existing centers at the MGH institute. Experts at the facility will focus on cutting-edge stroke research and provide community education on the warning signs of stroke. The center will also see collaboration on issues facing survivors and their families.

“We have the best scientists working here at IHP, and we’re going to have them be in the clinic working with these patients.” Center Director Kimberly Erler said.

Almost 20 years ago, Bruschi was a patient at Massachusetts General Hospital. Now, he and Heidi, along with the members of Tedy’s Team, are paying it forward. 

“I never really knew what my calling was, or where’s my spot where I can do something?” Bruschi said. “And then I had my stroke, and that sort of defined it for me. And here we are 18 years later and doing something very special.” 

See more about the Center of Excellence in Stroke Recovery here.

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