20-year-old Sarah Porter was in her college math class when it happened. "I went a bit foggy; I didn't think anything of it, I thought I was a bit tired," she said, but as it turned out it was a lot more than that.
A student beside her noticed her face was twitching and then Sarah suddenly passed out. At first they thought it might be a seizure, but when she realized the entire right side of her body wasn't working properly she knew something was wrong.
When she arrived at the hospital, the nurse thought she was faking it to avoid taking her final exams, but Porter's brother wouldn't let her stop pushing for help. Sarah said that "I probably would have listened to her if my brother wasn't there kicking up a fuss."
Because she was a healthy 20-year-old a stroke made no sense. But as time went on, her condition worsened. After twenty-four hours she couldn't walk. She also wasn't able to remember her sophomore year of college or her childhood.
The type of stroke she had was one of the more rare forms that is a lot harder to cure. The doctors think that because Sarah was born with a condition that causes her blood to clot faster than most people they were given that cushion of time that let them save her life.
For years after that first stroke she was scared it would happen again. By the time she was 24 she thought she was past it and could move on, but one day at the gym she felt the same foggy feeling coming on.
She walked herself to the ER and was her own advocate stating without a doubt what was happening. "I walked two blocks to the ER at New York Presbyterian Hospital, went straight to the desk and said "hi, my name is Sarah Porter, I had a stroke four years ago and I'm having another one now."
After she received surgery to solve the new issue, one of her eyes started to swell. She was asked to return to the hospital immediately because she needed another surgery to fix this dangerous infection.
The swelling went down after the surgery, and now she has found a career she is passionate about. She has started working at the Maine Medical Center's new neurosurgical practice alongside the surgeon who saved her life, helping other stroke patients deal with their condition.
Everyone should be aware of the symptoms and signs of a stroke so they can be able to get help as quick as possible. There are five main symptoms to watch out for:
- Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg, usually all on one side of the body.
- Sudden onset of confusion or trouble speaking and understanding.
- Suddenly being unable to see in one or both eyes.
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or a loss of balance and coordination.
- Sudden severe headaches.
Share this with your loved ones, no matter their age so that everyone will know what to watch out for.