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Ashley B.


I just graduated high school, had my CNA, and was ready to start college. Little did I know; I had a tiny time bomb ticking away in my head, that had been there all along. Two weeks after graduation; I was at the bowling alley, where I worked, but that night I was off. It was a normal evening bowling with my friends. I just finished up my last game, and went up to talk to the owner, who I absolutely love. Just as I sat down I had a massive headache, the worst I've ever felt. I ran to the back of the bowling alley grabbing my head, but just as I got to the back room, I collapsed and began vomiting. I didn't know what was wrong, but I could not talk, and ended up passing out.

Due to my age, everyone assumed I must've been under the influence; thankfully, my brother worked there also and knew something was horribly wrong. So, he called 911 & the paramedics came and took me to the nearest hospital.

At the hospital, they assumed the same thing, that I must be under the influence of something. I don't remember anything in the ER, but I was there for 4 hours and they didn't do anything, except they did life fly me to KU Med, and they saved my life.

Immediately, informing my mom that I suffered a hemorrhagic stroke due to an AVM, which I guess I was born with. I spent 2 weeks in an induced coma, and when I was brought to I couldn't talk or move at all. It was horrifying to say the least. I had groups of doctors around my bed several times, none of them could explain what was happening.

After several days like this, a doctor came in and said she was going to try something. She treated me for Guillian Barre, and gave me an IVIG drip. Thankfully after about 24 hours of this, my face began to twitch, and it slowly the twitch worked it's way down my body.

So, at that time I was moved to the rehab unit, where I was for the remainder of my 4 months stay in the hospital. I left the hospital in a wheelchair unable to do anything on my own. It's 5 years later, I'm still doing physical and speech therapy, but walking with a cane now, and still speak slower, from my severe ataxia. I have just graduated college, and have a fascination with the brain now. Not only am I lucky to have survived, I've been blessed with the ability to spread awareness about teens and strokes.


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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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