Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I remember when I found out that my father had his stroke. It was about two and a half years ago, between Thanksgiving and Christmas. My mom came home from work late at night and sat me down to tell me. I couldn't go to see him until after school the next day, and I was really upset and scared and confused. A stroke? That only happened to people's grandparents, not 39 year-old’s. Turns out it could have been prevented if they had caught it the first time he went to the ER that day, but because of his age, the hospital ruled it out and sent him home. Then he had to go back because it got more severe. He still hasn't fully recovered, and there are some things that never will be the same.

Even though I wasn't there, it has become very important to me to know what to do in case he has a stroke again when I am around, or in case someone else I love has a stroke. Or for that matter, anyone. I want to be informed and know what to do, because it's such a common thing and so many people don't know how to properly handle it. I'd like to share some information regarding strokes here on my blog just because the more people know, the more likely someone is to be properly diagnosed and to reach medical help in time.

What exactly is a stroke?

According to, a stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or when a blood vessel breaks and interrupts blood flow to an area of the brain. When either of these things happen, brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs. When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain are lost, such as speech, memory, and movement.

There are two types of strokes:

  • Ischemic stroke occurs when arteries are blocked by blood clots or by the gradual build-up of plaque and other fatty deposits. About 87 percent of all strokes are ischemic.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain breaks leaking blood into the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes account for thirteen percent of all strokes, yet are responsible for more than thirty percent of all stroke deaths. (This is the kind of stroke that my dad had. Scary.)
What are the risk factors of a stroke?

  • High blood pressure
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Diabetes
  • High Cholesterol
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Circulation Problems
  • Tobacco Use and Smoking
  • Alcohol Use
  • Physical Inactivity 
  • Obesity
  • Family History
  • Previous Stroke
  • Fibromuscular Dysplasia
  • Patent Foramen Ovale
Warning Signs and What To Do


It's such an important thing to be able to recognize the signs of a stroke, especially when many of the damaging effects can be avoided completely if the stroke is caught in time. Now that I am informed, maybe I will be able to help someone in need instead of being just another face in a crowd of curious bystanders who have no idea what's going in and just watch. Maybe I'll be able to help save someone else's father from struggles like what my dad has had to go through, or worse.

Maybe now you can, too.


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