Playing with your dogs in the backyard may not seem like a big deal, but it is to Kyle Carey, who had brain surgery three weeks ago.
"My speech was so bad that a two-minute conversation would last about 10 to 20 minutes, with me trying to get out the words out," Carey said.
The San Tan Valley dad suffers from a rare illness called Moyomoya disease, which restricts blood flow through the brain.
Back in March, Carey was forced to stop working as an EMT after suffering a series of strokes and some excruciatingly painful migraine headaches.
"We watch him sit there and deteriorate and become a person we don't even know," said his wife, Kris Carey.
"It literally brought me to the ER - almost weekly if not every other day," Kyle Carey said.
For months, doctors misdiagnosed Carey's condition, yet despite all the pain and suffering, he always believed he'd get better.
Family friend Allison Colley was amazed by Kyle Carey's positive attitude in the face of health and financial hardships.
"Even though they've fallen on hard times, they never asked for help," Colley said. "They weren't asking for handouts and were always trying to make things work themselves."
Colley reached out to CBS-5 to Pay it Forward to Carey and his family.
"You know Kyle, you do a lot for the community as an EMT, and I know you guys have both been struggling," Colley told the Careys."You are always trying, Kyle, to put your family first, and always do what's best for everyone else before yourselves."
"I know the holidays are coming up, and I don't want them to ever wonder - are we going to be able to have Thanksgiving this year? Are we going to have a decent Christmas?" Colley said.
The Careys said the money will definitely come in handy to help pay some bills while Kyle Carey is out of work, but that may not be for long.
Kyle Carey's recent surgery was a success, and he's now on the road to recovery.
He cant wait to be an EMT again, preferring to help others to helping himself.
"It's a complete turnaround," said Kris Carey. "His cognitive abilities and motor skills getting back to the person we knew before."
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