Stroke patient cooks a meal for his valentine

By: Erin Logan Email
By: Erin Logan Email

While many of us wait until the last minute to get that gift for our valentine, one Michiana man had to work tirelessly for seven months to get his wife a Valentine's Day present.

Dan and Teresa Riffle have been married for almost 36 years.

They vowed to stick by each other through the good times and the bad and they have.

Seven months ago, Dan suffered a stroke, and it's been a long road to recovery.

Thursday night, he surprised her with a Valentine's Day gift she never expected in years past and certainly not this year.

Dan says, “She had no idea what was going on and she was very surprised.”

“Teresa says, “I had no idea this was going to happen.”

It looks like a couple having a Valentine's Day dinner served by a waitress but, it's much more than that.

Dan Riffle cooked a meal for his wife..meatloaf, salad, and baked potatoes, with a little help from his occupational therapist, Tammi Dujardin.

Dujardin says, “I think he's doing awesome. I'm so proud of him.”

That's because the 55 year-old could barely move or even speak when he arrived at Ironwood Health and Rehab Center seven months ago after suffering a stroke.

Dujardin says, “He would cry because he wasn't able to do anything.”

Now, Dan is smiling and thrilled to be having a perfect night with his wife, his high school sweetheart.

As tired as he was after cooking, he even made her a card!

He says it’s difficult being away from his wife at night. She visits everyday and he goes home with her on weekends.

Dujardin says, “There's two people right there who have actually stood by each other.”

Teresa says, “We've had our ups and downs like anybody else but ,we got through them. This is the big one. We're getting through it so he can come home, right baby?”

Dan says, “She's the only love of my life and if I keep on talking I'm going to start crying.”

Teresa says this was her first and obviously favorite Valentine's dinner date.

The couple never really celebrates Valentine's Day because Dan's birthday is on the 13th.

Wednesday night was his 56th birthday.

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