I am a two time stroke survivor. I had my first acute ischemic stroke in 2013 at the age of 30. It was cryptogenic, but we concluded it was likely due to a carotid dissection that was faintly visible in an angiogram. Two and a half years later in 2016, I unexpectedly had a second stroke. Extensive research and testing concluded the cause of the strokes was most likely a PFO, which I had closed with the cardioform septal occluder in August 2016.
I am lucky. I was in the right place at the right time for both incidents and received the necessary immediate care. My insurance policy allowed me access to a breadth specialists and medical tests to investigate the cause of the strokes. And though my symptoms were sudden onset of aphasia and paralysis, I suffered no residual deficits from the strokes.
I share my story earnestly as an advocate for stroke awareness and prevention, specifically in young adults.
My writing and speaking:
Bad Year for Boars. The story of my first stroke. Medium, 2013.
My Invincible Summer. The story of my second stroke. Medium, 2016.
Talking Ice Cream and Strokes. NowThis, 2016.
Other people’s writing:
Medical Mystery. Washington Post, 2017.
Young, fit, two-time stroke victim. The New York Post, 2016.