Injury: Arteriovenous Malformation / Stroke
Rickey Woods, 39, was born and raised by a single mom in Dallas, TX, where he grew up a huge sports fan playing baseball all through high school at Skyline. He then attended Tarrant County Community College to pursue a career in Radiology where he delivered medical equipment and liquid oxygen to hospitals and patient’s homes for 21 years.
In 2009 after a golf injury that sent him to the hospital, Rickey discovered he was born with an AVM (arteriovenous malformation) the size of a golf ball in his brain. The AVM was inoperable due to the size and critical location. Instead, he went through three Gamma Knife Treatments to try and eliminate the mass. This caused scar tissue build up in his brain triggering his first stroke, which resulted in serious paralysis to his left arm, hand, and a severe case of drop foot.
Rickey had a second stroke in 2010 resulting in the loss of his peripheral vision on the left side of both eyes. This second stroke also caused short-term memory loss and depression that he continues to struggle with on daily basis.
Although the mass was completely eliminated by 2012, the remaining scar tissue from its removal continues to put Rickey at risk of seizures. Rickey was treated with medical steroids for 5 years to decrease swelling on his brain, causing in a 100lb weight gain and a vascular neurosis that forced a bi-lateral hip surgery in 2018. Rickey has since lost the weight through hard work and dedication but continues to fight to get full function back in his left side.
After 8 years of paralysis and numerous therapy sessions resulting in no positive results, he had accepted the fact that this was never going to get better. Upon his first visit to ATF, Rickey witnessed incredible athletes break through their preconceived limits. Rickey has found new hope!
As a left-hander, Rickey is determined to regain what he knew to be a normal life with the hope of playing golf again and returning to the medical field. More importantly he looks to prove that there is still hope despite what others have said and wants to be the same inspiration those previous ATF athletes were to him.