The Broad Strokes of Stroke Age and Lifestyle Didn’t Indicate Risks, Yet They Endured a Stroke

I was at home, sleeping.
“I’m grateful to be alive.”

Just days before her stroke, Trice celebrated her 49th birthday at a lunch with her dad and stepmother. That night she rolled out of bed, an unusual action that alarmed her boyfriend. Fearing a stroke, he called paramedics. She couldn’t move and her right side was numb. She was unconscious for four days and her doctors weighed the possibility of performing a craniotomy. When she regained consciousness, it was revealed that a brain bleed had occurred. She was diagnosed with a stroke.

Age: 49 at the time of the stroke
Career: Television producer
Health Status: Worked out with a renowned fitness expert three days a week
Lifestyle: Smoke free for 12 years prior to the stroke and had a healthy diet
Warning Signs: None
Life Today: “I’m committed to reaching the top. I’ll get there. I’m going to succeed. At CNS, I grow and grow and grow. I’m back to producing one day a week and my dream is to resume full time work.”

 

I was relaxing and watching TV.
“My health was great.”

There was no pain, no headache. Nothing seemed to be wrong. Yet Coach had a stroke at home while watching TV. He fell to the floor and woke up 36 hours later, after his son found him unconscious. Like many who endure stroke, he didn’t appear to be at risk.

Age: Early 60s
Career: Retired Chief Information Officer of a managed
healthcare company
Health Status: A fitness buff who had regular checkups
Lifestyle: No smoking/drinking; coached youth football for years
Warning Signs: None
Life Today: “I’ve been cleared to return to work in the information technology field. And I’m back to coaching youth sports. I’m very positive about CNS and its comprehensive approach to rehabilitation.”

 

I went in for a low-risk, routine procedure.
“It was the day before school started.”

He’s an inspired educator, ardent fisherman and devoted dad and husband. But an aneurysm in spring was followed by a stroke in summer, which upended Randy’s busy life. The stroke occurred after an angiogram – a follow up procedure common in aneurysm treatment.

Age: Early 50s
Career: 6th grade teacher
Health Status: Excellent health, exercised regularly and maintained a balanced diet
Lifestyle: Worked full time, enjoyed camping, hiking, strength training, and ocean swimming
Warning Signs: None
Life Today: Randy is in speech therapy four times a week to improve his communication skills. He walks with an orthotic device and, with his family’s support, is integrating back into a meaningful life once again.

 

I was playing in the park with my brother.
“Suddenly, I couldn’t see.”

At just 11, Amy had two strokes within a week. The first occurred on Christmas Eve while playing in the park. She lost her sight momentarily and had double vision, but was able to walk home with her mom. But on Christmas morning she had balance problems. Amy had a CAT scan and an MRI but wasn’t diagnosed with stroke at the time. Over the next week her speech was slurred and her vision was blurry. Another MRI was ordered and a brain bleed was found. On New Year’s Day she had her second stroke and went into a coma.

Age: 11 at the time of the strokes
School Status: Amy got straight A’s and was in a program for
gifted students
Health Status: Competitive soccer player, member of the U.S. Tennis Association’s Junior Team program
Lifestyle: Healthy diet, no junk food
Warning Signs: Headaches prior to the stroke, but no related symptoms that caused concern
Life Today: Amy still has memory and processing difficulties, but CNS addressed her cognitive and physical deficits. Now in high school, she’s on the junior varsity tennis team, works on the tech crew for the drama club, and is recognized as a scholar athlete. She’s determined to get into college. And a lifelong dream of hers has come true - Amy will travel to Australia this summer to snorkel in the pristine waters of the Great Barrier Reef, thanks to the Make a Wish Foundation. 


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