Stroke survivor returns to climb church steps

Posted at 5:44 PM, Mar 25, 2016

CINCINNATI -- Step by step, Terri Kersey has been climbing her way toward recovery for nearly two years.

Kersey suffered an ischemic stroke July 18, 2014 while in Tanzania, Africa.

It happened just one day after she and Kelly Palmer, then a LaSalle High School student, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. The journey was part of an ongoing effort to raise awareness about the disease Palmer suffers from, Eosinophilic esophagitis.

A photo of Terri Kersey and her husband Greg in the hospital

The stroke left Kersey paralyzed on the right side of her body and it also took away her ability to speak. Her diagnosis was grim at first; some neurologists doubted she'd ever return to her former self.

But Kersey is a fighter. Day by day, she improved, so much so that she returned Friday to another climb: the steps leading to Holy Cross-Immaculata Church in Mount Adams. It's an annual tradition for thousands of Tri-State Catholics, and Kersey had been taking part for 15 years.

PHOTOS: Faithful 'pray the steps' in Mount Adams

"I am near Jesus," she said. "I can see and hear and just know his pain that he went through, and that’s the only thing I can do right now and I want to be near him."

Through her recovery, Kersey said her faith has stood strong.

Watch the video above to hear more from Kersey and see more from the Good Friday tradition.