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How old were you when you had your stroke? 25

  • Date of your stroke?  05/09/2010
  • What general area do you live in?   Chattanooga, TN
  • Type of Stroke?  Ischemic
  • Any known reasons for your stroke?  A small hole in my heart. I tore the main artery in my neck while getting sick. Unknown really.
  • What were your symptoms? What were you feeling during your stroke?  I had a really bad migraine. Once the paramedics arrived and assessed my condition, they then proceeded to the hospital with no siren and no lights sounded. It was their opinion that I overdosed on Tylenol. We arrived at the first out of four hospitals we would end up going to that night.  It was one of the strangest feelings I have ever experienced; I was awake and aware of everything that was happening to me- yet I was unable to speak and communicate with anyone.  The doctor did blood work that ruled out their theory of overdosing. Because I was unresponsive, the next diagnosis was that I must be having mental issues…. Arrangements were made for me to be transported to a local mental institution. On my way out to a police car I went to stand up and with two people on either side they let me fall to the floor.  I would meet  the nurse that would save my life at the mental hospital. He took one look at me and knew I was having a stroke. I’m forever grateful to him. If he hadn’t recognized my symptoms, I probably wouldn’t be here. I can remember him lifting my arm up to do the F.A.S.T. test.My parents decided that the only option was a trial procedure that Dr. Devlin suggested called Brainsgate. With the combination of this procedure and many prayers, my blood clot in my brain almost completely dissolved on the fourth day of the experiment.My recovery has been slow. There are still things I struggle with such as words, memory and math skills.  My hand does weird things.  It’s still hard for me to write and my stamina is not the same when I do everyday things. No matter what, I will continue to work on all this.
  • Where did you go for inpatient rehab? Siskins
  • Where did you go for outpatient rehab? Siskins, Benchmark
What are your biggest challenges/residual effects?

Verbally can’t express myself the way that I use too, short term memory, and I do funny stuff sometimes with my hand. Also, my right leg kinda drags but you can hardly tell.

What advice would you give someone recovering from a stroke now?

Read Jeremiah 29:11 (“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”) and don’t give up!

What was something that kept you going during your stay in the hospital that might encourage others?

I’m all my baby girl has. I was determined to wrap both my arms around her.  God kept my mind clear and focused on getting better. My daughter visited me every day and even spent the night on weekends.

What is something quirky/fun about yourself? 

My goal is to go back to school to be a nurse but I don’t know if my mind will permit that or not.

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