October 29th is World Stroke Day - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

October 29th is World Stroke Day

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Stefanie Beck shares her story on World Stroke Day Stefanie Beck shares her story on World Stroke Day
(WJBK) -

October 29th is World Stroke Day. The American Heart Association wants everyone to know stroke is not only the number four killer in the U.S., it's also not just something your grandparents need to look out for.

Take it from Stefanie Beck, who was just 36 years old when she suffered a stroke.

"I had severe crushing chest pain, kind of out of nowhere," Beck describes. It was June of 2998. She, her husband and three small children had just returned from a trip to Traverse City when, shockingly, Beck suffered a massive heart attack.

"The artery down the front of my heart was 100 percent blocked, so, thankfully, they were able to put a stent in an open it up."

Now she is suddenly facing a lifetime of taking pills and treating heart disease. Doctors blamed just one thing: genetics. Both of Beck's parents suffered heart disease in their 50s.

But  just two weeks after Beck's heart attack, she found herself unable to speak.

"I knew what I was saying in my head but my words were coming out all jumbled, didn't make any sense," she remembers.  

"It was garbled; you couldn't make sense of what she was saying," Beck's mother, Barbara Groom, remembers.

The family called 911, but, as a physician's assistant, Beck remembers knowing what was going on: she was having a stroke.

A stroke occurs when the brain is cut off from blood supply.
 
Doctors believe a clot from Beck's healing heart traveled up to her brain and blocked the blood flow.  

Unlike Beck, in most cases, strokes are preventable by controlling things like blood pressure, cholesterol and body weight. But she wants to spread the word that fast action saved her life, twice!

"You need to listen to your body; you need to listen to your symptoms. If you think that there's something wrong, then you either need to call your doctor or you need to get the emergency room as soon as you can," urges Beck.

FAST is the acronym to know when you suspect someone is having a stroke: Face; Arm; Speech; Time.   

Click on the link below to learn more about stroke warning signs and symptoms.  

LINK: Learn more about how to spot a stroke on www.strokeassiciation.org>>

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