3 strokes in 24 hours at 26
My mother was told she could never have children, yet while she was undergoing chemo and radiation for a brain tumor ended up pregnant with me. By the time the doctors listened to her, they were able to tell I was a girl... So I had been receiving her chemo and radiation for at least 16 weeks. The doctors advised her to abort me, but holding her Bible firmly she told them no and immediately stopped her treatment, putting her life on the line for me. Mom died April 8, 1991.
I was born at 7 months via emergency C-section at UAMS Little Rock, which is why I
had a PFO, a congenital heart defect. Most babies take that first big breath at birth and it closes the hole in the heart. I was born too early and could not take that breath needed to close that hole.
In April 2013, I ended up having 3 strokes in 24 hours, and my life changed tremendously. I had a plan for my life, being in college and wanting to be in Air Force ROTC, so I could be a commissioned officer. Upon my diagnosis, I learned what was thought to be migraines by doctors were actually strokes over the years and even after the PFO had been closed, I could not enter the military at that time.
While I was in the hospital, I was constantly hearing doctors and nurses brief the oncoming staff saying I had several strokes in 24 hours. When I finally asked what several meant, they told me 3 in 24 hours along with a history of stroke over the years.
This photo was the one I chose because it was a big step for me at NWA Fashion Week 2014, as I was able to walk down a runway 11 months after my strokes... even after every single doctor that looked at my chart told me I shouldn't even be alive.
At the time of my strokes, I was a mother of 2 boys, Cameron, who I share a birthday with (he's about to be 11) and Carson (my austistic soon to be 6 year old). Since the strokes, I have had a third son, Micah, who just turned 2. I am also a fall 2017 recipient of the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Benton County returning with to college with a major in Political Science/Public Policy (thanks to Allison Hogue, Deven Daehn, and Heyward Whetsell with AHA Arkansas). I will be walking for 3 designers in Northwest Aransas Fall Fashion Week Nov. 9th and 10th in Fayetteville, AR. I participated in Advocated for Heart Day 2017 at the Arkansas State Capitol and at You're the Cure on the Hill 2017 in Washington, DC. I am absolutely honored to be an 2017 Stroke Hero Finalist ! I will continue to work with the AHA/ASA for a heart disease/stroke free America!