Four days before his twenty-seventh birthday, Joseph Slota, who grew up in a stable, close-knit Italian family, was out on his own with a good job and his first home when he was felled by a brain bleed due to a ruptured arteriovenous malformation (AVM) he didn't know he had. When Joe woke up, it was into a different body. His entire left side was immobile, and he had lost half of his vision in each eye. Joe's family surrounded him every day, through six operations and grueling rehabilitation sessions, supporting him, rooting for him-and no one more than Erica, always his greatest supporter. This is Joe's inspiring story, told in his own words and in the words of his older sister and best friend, Erica. Joe knows what we are all capable of if we just keep at it, and he wants to inspire others with his grit, robust sense of humor, persistence, and infectiously positive personality. Many victims and their families might have said after such a calamity, "Can't walk, can't drive, can't play sports-Don't get your hopes up." Joe says, "Can't? I just did-and you can, too."
Joseph Anthony Slota III is a ruptured brain AVM survivor with an ambitious goal to dedicate his life and his story to helping others to be resilient. He resides in New Jersey, where he has lived his entire life. At twenty-six years old, his brain AVM ruptured, resulting in a fight for his life. While working through his rehabilitation, Joe identified his passion and purpose in life, which is to help others overcome chal- lenging life obstacles. Before the rupture, he had a successful career in professional services and technology companies. After his rupture, he set out on a journey to use his story for the good of others while continuing his career.