(05/09/13) - Stroke. We have all heard the warning signs: slurred speech,
sudden paralysis, loss of vision. Most of us would become suspicious if we saw
an older person having these symptoms.
But strokes can happen to anyone. Just ask 38-year-old Kelly Reinhardt of Bay City. She was doing what thousands of mothers do on week nights in the springtime. After a full day of work, she went to her daughter's soccer game.
Something was a little different that day, Kelly says. She had a pounding headache she just could not shake, "and when I got to the soccer game, one mother did come up to me and say that I was limping. She said, 'Are you OK?' Because they know I work out. So she said, 'Are you just really sore because you seem to be limping,' and I just said, 'I'm really tired.'"
Kelly went home, hoping she would feel better in the morning, but she didn't, and her daughter and niece were alarmed.
"My actions were peculiar. I put my daughter's iPod in the Crockpot, I wasn't dressed properly. I had my pajama bottoms on with a jean jacket. I was talking about dinner and it was breakfast time. There was a lot of confusion. They said I didn't look right, so they called 911," Kelly says.
At the hospital, Kelly learned she suffered Deep Vein Thrombosis - a very rare type of stroke. "I was having symptoms for like 24 hours and I seen a lot of people that day, my employees, people I worked with, my family, friends and nobody thought that I was having a stroke because of my good health and my young age. "
Because so much time passed before she was diagnosed, Kelly's prognosis was scary, "They brought my family in to say goodbye."
After a stent, to drain the blocked vein, and a lot of physical therapy, a year later, Kelly is a survivor, one who wants to get her story out.
"We need to let everybody know and be aware that it can be anybody at any age and to look for the signs."
If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T.:
Face - look at their face, does one side droop?
Arms - are they moving one of their arms or legs oddly?
Speech - is their Speech slurred or strange sounding?
Time - time lost is brain lost, if you suspect stroke, call 911 immediately.
Other symptoms that are often most common in women are sudden severe headache, face or limb pain or numbness, nausea and overall weakness. For more information about stroke and some of the less commonly known symptoms visit www.stroke.org
The American Heart Association is also hosting walks for cardiovascular disease. Kelly will be at the one in Midland this weekend. www.MidMichiganHeartWalk.org.
There will also be a walk in Flint next weekend. Visit www.GeneseeCountyHeartWalk.org for further information on the Genesee County Heart Walk.
ABC12 Main Station