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Sarah L.


Age 15 Changed My Life

I am Sarah Lathrop, from MA and I had a stroke at 15 years old, and it changed my life. I am very proud of who I am today at the age 20.

My whole life I had multiple brain surgeries, and heart surgery. I lost my right peripheral vision at age 7, but I might had struggle but didnt let it ruin my life. I played softball, soccer, lacrosse, basket, snowboarding, and so muuch more.

November 18th, 2009 was a very exciting day for me. It was my last brain surgery, and I will finally able to not have to worry about them anymore. I was ready to be done, and finally have a chance to live without the fear of brain damage. Well, after the surgery I didn't wake up so "normal". My eyes opened, my heart is beating loud; I do not know where I am, I look to the left, then I look to the right, then I close my eyes shut. I wonder is this a nightmare? I re-open them. My head feels heavy, and I am absolutely confused on what was going on. My heart starts racing again, and all a sudden I see my mother. She looked scared, while my father looked nervous. I stay quiet, and my mother asks me "Do you know who I am?" then I paused. I asked her "What is going on?" My mother walks closer to me and says "Sarah, you had a stroke." Everyone always wishes to have a restart button but this was one restart I didn't want to have.

My life hasn't been the same since; the whole right side of my body was paralyzed. I was not able to even pick up my right arm, hand, and leg. I thought at first, my life was absolutely destroyed and I was to live in a bed the rest of my life. But in fact that was not the case I learned how to walk talk and live again. This is when I realized the road to success isn't always a walk in the park, but then again if it was a walk in the park we wouldn't have difference and difference proves peoples strength. I may have always wanted that "normal" life, but I learned as time when on what was the normal life. Life is a book and you're the author you set the place you speak the script and you are the only one in control of it. It may have taken me till now the piece my puzzle together but I'm finally getting the hang of it. Some people always tell me they feel bad for me and all I've gone through but looking back I wouldn't have had it any other way because you cannot reach the stars if you haven't seen rock bottom.

I got my legs full strength back, most my right arm is back, and I was able to learn to talk but with Aphasia. I may only have one working hand now but who needs two anyways, I might be a little slower the rest but I know I'll get there. I love telling my story because it reminds me every day it could always be worse. After all was said and done I always thought college was out of the question I had to learn how to write lefty, type with one hand, and talk with some words jumbled. But I couldn't let that stop me I took a shot in the dark and applied anyway and got in. I dreamt about this for years;
I am 20 years old today, and I am a college athlete, college student, and never been as strong as I am today. I am a Child Life and Family studies major and I talk to children after they are traumatised by having a stroke, disorder, or disabilty and talk to them. I tell them my story, and stay how I have over come so much in my life, and if talk to them. I tell them if I can over come it, so can they! Without struggle there is no progress.


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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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