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Melissa L


A Life Change

On Halloween night I was handing out candy just as I always have done and everything was completely normal. Then suddenly, my left arm went numb like it was asleep and my left hand was shaking uncontrollably, all the while my left cheek felt as if it were pulled back. I stopped in my tracks and thought I'm only 31, I'm healthy, I'm too young to be having a stroke. I let it go. At dinner that night my left cheek had the same feeling and I felt flustered. My blood pressure was 180 over 90 something so we decided it was time for the ER.

At the ER I was given a basic CT scan which showed nothing, monitored for less than an hour, and sent home, told to follow up with my family doctor about my blood pressure.

Two hours later in bed, by the grace of God my husband woke up to find me having a massive stroke. He acted FAST and called 911. After being taken back to the same ER and waiting for the doctors to talk to a neurologist at another hospital about whether or not I should receive tPA, they finally administered the drug right at the three hour mark from the massive stroke. I was then transferred to a hospital with a wonderful neurological center. Turns out I had a weakened carotid artery that had torn and created a blood clot. I was coughing in my sleep which knocked the clot loose to my brain.

Surrounded by family and friends and wonderful therapists, I now have everything back except my left hand, my "lucky fin".

It was six months ago today, and I am writing this back at work! I still struggle with stamina, anxiety, and frustration for being ignored the first trip to the ER.

Age is not a factor, anyone can suffer a stroke. I am just thankful for my hero, my husband, my doctors and nurses, and my God for saving my life.

I'm a whole new person now. I'm happier, less stressed, more open, and can't wait to start a family once I heal.


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