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Kaitlyn K.


People need to understand that stroke does not discrimate against gender, race or even age.

My senior year of high school I was only 17 years old. The only thing that was on my mind was graduation, prom, senior trip and etc. But January 17, 2009 changed the way I look at my life. I had a stroke. Here is my story:

It was a Saturday morning and I didn't want to get up and get going. My parents are saying, "come on Katie, we have to go, we have to go." So I go into my room to text a friend and all of a sudden my vision started getting blurry. Just thinking it was a dizzy spell because it was warm in my room that morning, I tried to walk it off. Next thing I know my right leg gives out from underneath me and I fell to the floor my head landed on a sweatshirt nearby. I tried screaming but it was like a baby talking. I heard my cell phone go off on top of my bed. I don't know where my strength came from but I got my cell phone and I tried calling my mom. No answer. Next thing I know, my father is yelling at my sister to get going. He turned his head and he saw me laying there thinking I was joking around. He goes, "come on let's go."

I started crying because he couldn't understand a word I am saying. Finally my mom comes in and says, "Kate, honey, you have to stop crying so I can understand you." I stopped crying but the words coming out of my mouth were not making sense. I signaled for pen and paper and I couldn't write. I looked over and saw my cell phone out of the corner of my eye. I texted what was wrong. I said "half mouth numb can't move right leg or arm". My mom read those words and 911 was called at 8:10 Saturday morning. The EMTs arrived and they tried to keep me talking and moving through the 40 minutes it took to go to the hospital. It was a normal 20-minute drive. We get to the hospital and I regained my speech back by 90%, but I still couldn't move my arm and leg. The doctors were in shock; they didn't know what was wrong. They kept saying it is not a stroke because I was too young. They thought MS but needed an MRI to be sure. In my area, no hospital has an MRI machine open on the weekends. As they are trying to get me transferred to a different hospital, everyone was trying to keep me moving as much as possible and by noon that day I was walking again. I got transferred to another hospital an hour away. We left around 2 pm and didn't get there till 5 pm, because of the weather. Once at the hospital, they ran an MRI and found I did have a stroke. Through more and more test they found I have a PFO or Patent Forum Ovale, which I had closed through a heart cath in October 2009. So many doctors came in to see me that I last track of who was who. Dr. C. though is the best children's neurologist in the state and he sat at the end of my bed in confusion. My dad and I started laughing at him because he didn't know what was wrong or how it happened. I was released from the hospital the next day. I went back to school on the next Tuesday and started back with my everyday schedule that Wednesday.

Every time I walk into a doctor's office they are surprised that I am walking. I was on 325 g of aspirin a day until May of 2010 when they lowered my dosage to 81g that I will be on the rest of my life. Now I go around to different high schools in my area and teach students about the signs of a stroke and share my story.


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Display of the Faces of Stroke stories does not imply National Stroke Association's endorsement of any product, treatment, service or entity. National Stroke Association strongly recommends that people ask a healthcare professional about diagnosis and treatment questions before using any product, treatment or service. The views expressed through the stories reflect those of the authors and do not reflect the opinion of National Stroke Association.

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