A Stroke -- in Your Twenties? Having a Stroke in Prime of Your Life is More Common Than You'd Think

CBS News

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Many of the victims are eldery, but a third of those affected by stroke are under 65 --and sometimes much younger than that.

Elizabeth Gates, the daughter of prominent Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, is in her twenties and suffered a severe stroke just four months ago. And remarkably, she's now able to talk about it.

So how did Elizabeth know she had suffered from a stroke?

After an evening at a bachelorette party this May, 28-year-old Elizabeth Gates woke up with what she thought was a hangover.

"I couldn't move at all it was horrible. I called my friends in the room. I tried to say, 'What the hell is going on?', but all I could say was 'What?'" she said.

Elizabeth had suffered a stroke, her mind irreparably harmed. An X-ray showed a bright portion that revealed just how much of her brain tissue was destroyed.

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National Stroke Association’s mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of stroke by developing compelling education and programs focused on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and support for all impacted by stroke.