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Chelsey H.


22 years old and beyond blessed

Stroke numbers rising among young people

Being only 22 years old at the time, it took months of tests before officially being diagnosed. Strokes in young people are on the rise and need to be opened to the public. I never would have thought that at my age and being in good health could anything that serious have happened. Working full time and being in school at Texas Tech University full time I rarely have time to realize when things began to change.

October 2nd, 2013 I was at work just a regular day when I completely lost my vision and feeling on the left side of my entire body. I grabbed a girl I've worked with for years and told her something was completely wrong, so they sat me down and I laid my head down for turned out to be 45 minutes. After that my memory of the night is very vague, the girl Marissa graciously took me to the emergency room where after having my blood pressure being taken, they immediately saw me. I had a CT scan done and sort of remember talking to the doctors/nurses. Turns out they diagnosed me with an inner ear infection and sent me home a few hours after being admitted.

After being unconvinced that what I had was an ear infection, my mom (Dallas, TX) got a referral to an internist here in Lubbock that I went to see. I brought Marissa along to help aid me in explaining what happened, which completely shocked me. The things she was telling the doctor were none of which I remembered at all, in fact almost nothing she said sounded familiar, I immediately broke down crying. After having an MRI, the doctor let me know there was a spot on my thalamus and I needed to go home to Dallas for further testing.

I went in to see Dr. Bruce Mickey at UT Southwestern where I had another MRI done which showed the spot at shrunk, so tumor was ruled out. I was also seeing Neurologist Dr. Magadan for other tests and common steps taken after the results. A few months later I went back in for another MRI and got put on a heart monitor, as well as having an echocardiogram. Dr. Mickey concluded that the spot was in fact a stroke marker and through the echocardiogram, that I had a PFO that had never closed which was the most likely cause of the stroke.

I am currently awaiting the results from the heart monitor as well as the transesophageal echocardiogram results that I had done to see how big the hole in my heart is. I was told that PFO's are actually pretty common, however as adults most people don't know they have them until it causes a stroke.

After doing countless amounts of research in order to educate myself on this type of injury, I realized that the number of strokes in young people are rising, but that there is almost no awareness out there.

I am beyond blessed that I have no permanent disability like many do after having a stroke. I feel that this was a blessing from above and that I should really do something in trying to aid education among younger generations on the matter. I hope that this small clip of my story will help others in one way or another.


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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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