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Wendy S.


I was a healthy, strong, athletic fifty-six year old. I had two hemorrhagic strokes. The first time, I was making a peanut butter sandwich for my son. Suddenly I was no longer able to spread the peanut butter. I had no idea of the warning signs of stroke, so I waited a bit and then asked my son to call my internist, who of course recognized the symptom immediately and told us to go to the ER at Mount Sinai Hospital by cab, not to wait for an ambulance. After many tests and a week's observation time in the hospital, I was fine and returned to riding my bike around town.  

The second stroke, the catastrophic one, was about three months later. I was prostrate on the floor with my arms and legs flailing about. Fortunately, I told my friends who were with me that this must be another stroke (I learned later that it was actually a seizure, the precursor to the stroke). I had brain surgery that day to drain the blood from my cranium. I also had all manner of complications which were extremely well handled at Mount Sinai, including a blood clot in my leg and an obstruction in the bowel, both of which required surgery. I spent months hospitalized, recovering from surgeries and in inpatient rehab. In rehab I learned so many necessities--to walk, to walk up stairs, to dress myself, to get into a car and more. Mount Sinai is a government designated stroke center, and I will be forever indebted to Sinai for saving my life and enabling me to carry on for eight happy and fulfilling years.  

I also spent a very productive year in cognitive and psychological outpatient rehab at the Rusk Institute of NYU Hospital. My PT and exercising in the gym has continued throughout these eight years. I can walk up to a mile with a brace and cane. I know chances are slim, but I hope one day to be able to ride a bike again, maybe a tricycle.

To thank Mount Sinai, I volunteer there in the lobby twice a week welcoming patients and visitors and telling them how to get around the medical center.  

I frequently take the opportunity to advise people on the warning signs of stroke, which are so easy to recognize, so that they will be prepared in an emergency.

I send you my very best regards. I read your emails and magazine with interest all the time. They are an excellent support. I particularly admire the attention you pay to the needs of care givers, who I believe are often the unsung heroes of stroke.


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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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