LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Following a viral video that’s garnered a lot of attention and thousands of views showing a news anchor in Tulsa, Oklahoma suffering the beginnings of a stroke; the topic of stroke awareness is being raised.
A local doctor is urging everyone to continue getting their checkups despite age and a Little Rock woman says after her experience having a stroke she wants to help save someone else.
Julie Chin, who is in her 40s was live on air in Tulsa when she started showing symptoms of a stroke. She did receive help and is doing better.
However, the CDC states the older you are, the more likely you are to have a stroke. The chance of having a stroke doubles every 10 years after the age of 55.
Although Chin doesn’t fit in that age range. The CDC notes strokes are also although strokes are common among older adults, many people younger than 65 years also have strokes.
Dr. Sanjeeva Onteddu, a UAMS Neurologist says he has seen a lot of patients that are younger than 40 come in for a stroke. He says there are several common risk factors.
“Smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, and sleep apnea,” said Dr. Onteddu.
He also says knowing the symptoms of a stroke is vital, like being aware to “be fast”.
“B means balance, E for eyesight or vision problems, F is for facial drooping, A is for arm weakness, S is for speech problems, T the last one it’s time to call 911,” said Dr. Onteddu.
Dr. Onteddu notes if a person is experiencing a stroke coming to the hospital as soon as possible is critical, giving the patient a better chance of saving the neurons in their brain.
“If they come within four and a half hours of symptom onset we have clot-busting medications to give to any stroke patient and if they’re having a large stroke we have advanced treatments,” said Dr. Onteddu.
Rushing to the hospital is what Little Rock native, TaKishia Withers did when she had a stroke at the age of 39 in March of 2021.
“All of a sudden I had a bad headache, it was a pain I never felt before so I knew I had to go to the hospital,” said Withers.
According to the CDC, in 2020 Arkansas had a 43.5 percent rate of stroke mortality.
Withers said when she went to the Baptist Health Hospital she thought she was going to die.
“From what I’ve been told my eyes were rolling in the back of my head they admitted me they had to do emergency surgery, I was in the surgery for 6 and a half hours, and my blood vessels had burst in my brain,” said Withers.
Withers says she spent 3 days in a coma after the surgery, but when she woke up she couldn’t walk.
“I was scared. I was thinking of ways to escape but finally, I realized I was there and I couldn’t walk.” She goes on to say, “blood pressure was the main thing, that’s what caused my stroke, blood pressure
Withers says during her 3 months at the hospital there were other things she would have to relearn how to do.
“It was hard. I had to learn how to walk again, bathe myself, and talk,” said Withers.
Withers’s message to others who might be experiencing the same thing she went through is to never give up and to take care of your body.
“Just have faith, don’t give up, depend on your family, let them help,” said Withers.
She says with each day she is getting better and is happy to be at home.