Meet the man behind the inspirational billboard in central Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — If you’re stopped at a red light at Circle Drive and Platte Avenue, you’re going to see a new billboard with a man’s face on it.

The billboard says, “Relearned how to walk, relearned how to talk, never forgot to fight.”

Those are words Ollice Burke lives by. He’s the man on the sign. Three years ago, he had a stroke at the age of 26.

He was playing in a basketball game when he started feeling hot. During a timeout, he remembers a friend handing him water.

“I remember I tried to hold it and went–I went to hold it, I grabbed it, and it just dropped. I couldn’t hold onto it and then I don’t remember nothing else after that,” said Burke.

He went into a coma for 13 days.

A video of his daughter playing basketball is what brought him out of it, but something was different. It was hard for him to talk, and his left side was paralyzed.

“That was the biggest issue, not being able to move my left side at all,” he said.

It was a long road of recovery in front of Burke.

His physical therapist remembers thinking one thing the first day he walked in.

“Recovery from something like that’s going to take a couple years,” said physical therapist Kristy Know.

Not for Burke. It only took him a couple months.

“He’s super motivated. He did a lot of it on his own. We guided him and he took off and did it,” said Knox.

“I feel I’m back, like I can do everything I want, basically. You name it, I can do it. If you can do it, I can do it,” said Burke.

He credits his daughter for a lot of the success of his recovery. She was there through the whole process, pushing and cheering him on.

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