Text Size




Faces of Stroke - Logo 100px  transparent

Shannon R.


My mom survived a Massive Stroke

My mom the survivor

On November 20, 2009 I received a phone call from my father. The frantic voice on the other end of the line said "your mom just had a stroke". As a paramedic I knew this was about to change my life forever. When I arrived at the hospital and turned the corner to see my mother laying in the hospital bed with facial drooping, no speech ability at all, and complete right sided paralysis I realized just how severe the situation was. After further testing, it was determined that she had suffered a massive stroke and a clot had lodged in the middle cerebral artery of her brain. I kicked myself knowing that just a week earlier I suspected she was in atrial fibrillation after she came to me complaining of palpitations. I tried my hardest to get her to go to the hospital, but in true form, she is where I get my stubborn side from. I convinced her to go to the doctor, two days later, and it was confirmed that she had new onset atrial fibrillation and on November 20, 2009, she converted into a normal sinus rhythm and threw a clot that lodged in her brain causing the stroke. Our options for treatment were limited due to a recent breast reduction surgery she had done. My father, sister-in-law, and myself made the decision to transfer her to another hospital for surgery. They reported the only real chance she had for any quality of life was to insert a catheter into her groin, feed it through her heart and into her brain so they could drop clot dissolving medication directly onto the clot itself. Approximately 6 hours later she was waking up in ICU with a physician asking her to write her name on a piece of paper. We all stood by and held our breath as she took the pen in her right hand, which was paralyzed 6 hours ago, and signed her name. At this moment I knew she was going to be alright, she is a fighter and always has been. She remained in ICU for two more days and then went to the stroke floor for two days before being dismissed home. She initially had some speech slurring and shaking in the right hand. This all completely subsided by the time she was kicked out of the hospital. Her therapy appointments, or should I say appointment, was uneventful as they told her she was a walking miracle and no further appointments were needed. She has returned to living a full and happy life without any physical deficits at all. She does have some minor short term memory issues and at times deals with a slight balance problem, which I make fun of her for. Due to the fast recognition of the signs and symptoms and the quick actions of my family to contact emergency personnel, my mother is here to talk about her experience. She lives every day to the fullest and shares her story with anyone who will listen, trying to educate others on the importance of stroke awareness and the early recognition of the signs and symptoms. I also do the same and now sport a stroke awareness ribbon tattoo on my right wrist and love explaining it to people who see it both out in public and in my job as a paramedic. Early stroke recognition, action, and treatment gave me my mom back!


All active news articles

Share by

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.

Printer Friendly Version

National Stroke Association

9707 E. Easter Lane, Suite B
Centennial, CO 80112

Stroke Help Line logo