Karina' s Hemorrhagic Stroke
The “warrior Angel” on earth. That was the nickname on a magazine after the stroke happened. To begin, my name is Karina A. Seda Fontanez. Fontanez is my mom’s maiden name or Last name. I was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico. I born as a child capable of using both hands, both legs, being able to run, jump, and walk faster and faster. Since childhood I always loved sports. During elementary and middle school, I was involved on volleyball, basketball, swimming, and dancing teams. Really, I was a very active person. I grow up with my mom, “The warriors of warriors”, a person who has achieved what she proposed herself, alone, after God giving her the strength to do it.
At 4 years old I developed a sense of helping others. I never left my mom alone cleaning the car, cleaning the house, or cleaning the yard. I grow up as an independent individual being able to do everything by herself. A dedicated child focused on school, sports, and helping others. Since the beginning, each my friends and family members searched for me to ask questions and have someone to listen to them. Everything was as expected until my mom started noticing changes on my body. At the age of eleven I started to feel more tired than usual after I finished playing basketball with my neighbors. It reached the point that one afternoon, while walking towards my mom as she raised her arms to hug me, I fell on her arms. Few hours later I was in the hospital, but the MRI machine was not working at the time. Months later my mom continues noticing changes like light sensibility, and strong headaches. One day we visit another hospital in Puerto Rico where I was finally able to have the MRI exam. When results came out my mom was in shock about the results. A 12-year-old child with the possibility of an Aneurism. That same day my mother was my ambulance to the hospital where the only Neuroendovascular Doctor in all of Puerto Rico, at the time, was working. I was the first child to have an embolization procedure in Puerto Rico. Since then, I had to start making changes on my way of eating, but I was still able to do everything even though I had to live with all the headaches every day. Through school I kept my GPA of 3.8-4.00. Every year I was under examinations to have the aneurism observed. The day for my last embolization arrived! May 14, 2008. I have 15 years old and just four more days until my birthday. Everything was good after the operation. But while in the recovery room, I threw up, causing my intracranial pressure to rise which caused a hemorrhagic stroke. It was a chaos. The doctors and nurses started saying “Karina is bleeding! Hurry! Karina is bleeding! We need to stop the blood.” Between all the tension, the doctors went back with me to the operating room trying to save my life. During this process doctor and nurses had to work double because I was passed away and was brought back twice as well as there being a shortage of blood at that moment. They had to use the defibrillator and CPR twice to bring me back. After that I was in a 3-week comma and on life support. According to my mom, all I was able to do was press her hand to communicate either a yes or no. Preventive measures that she taught me long before the event. When I finally woke up, I did not recognize some of my family members. I had lost my memory for a while as well as not acting like myself. It was not until later that the first phrase that came out of my mouth was “mom I love you”. A sign that I was back. When I finally came back from being disoriented, I found myself unable to move my eyes, my face and totally unable to feel anything from the left side of my body. It was very frustrating not being able to do everything by myself. I had to adjust to the new change. Later they transferred me to a rehab center to take to provide physical, occupational, speech, and phycological therapies. I had to start everything from the beginning. From learning how to move my eyes, to feeling different sensations on my left side, to practicing standing up, and walking with a hemi-walker. The same with my hand, everything was step by step. Many people did not expect me to go to school that year,11th grade in my case. But it was all the contrary, my mom never took a “No” for an answer “she is going to do everything as before” she kept saying. Through lots of hard work during that summer I was able to start 11th grade and continue my studies keeping my GPA. Two years later my mom decided to move to Florida where we found more opportunities for improvement on my recovery. At that time, I was able to walk using a brace and keeping another brace on my hand, but nothing prevented me from continuing education towards my bachelor’s degree. I was still working beyond the expectations of the many people who said I would never recover from that. I keep going. It really took more time that expected to complete the bachelor’s degree, but the best thing is that I was able to finish it. And at the same time find wonderful people like my husband during this journey. Now, I can say that I am a happily married woman with a bachelor’s degree in human communications living life to its full potential. Still working with my recovery. During the years I found myself thinking “I can do more of what I have been doing”.
There is something, I must do in this earth that I am not doing. August 2019, I started taking classes to become a Health and Life Coach. I started feeling fulfillment in that emptiness. So, it was not until March 2020. I decided to make the big 180-degree change in my life. I decided to launch myself as a full-time Health and Life coach. I started working with people who wanted to lose weight, but there was still something missing. On April 2020, my coaching business “Living Without Limits With Karina Seda” came an official business. It was not until May that my mentors helped me realize that I have something special to do that I had not realized. And it was that I should help other people like me. So, saying this I want to let others knows that I developed a system to help other stroke survivors have an improvement on their recovery. My program is not meant to replace traditional therapies, it is used in conjunction to these. It is used to reinforce them. So, stroke survivors can live a life with out limits. The program not only looks at the physical aspect, it looks for something deeper and beyond human minds. We are alive for a reason. Today, I am a health and life coach helping stroke survivors ****** past the impossible, so they can live a life without limits, reaching independence.