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Iowa mom suffers heart attack and stroke at age 30

Posted at 4:21 PM, Sep 18, 2019

NEOLA, Iowa — Dana Alm was just 30 years old and a new mom when she started experiencing headaches. Then one day, in January she felt numbness that spread throughout her body.

"I know my body, and I know when that numbness took over there was definitely something wrong, and if I would've ignored that, I don't know if I'd be here today," she said.

She quickly got help. Doctors realized she had a stroke but that wasn't all. The stress of the stroke caused a heart attack too.

"Oh my gosh, I'm a brand new mom, this can't happen to me, I need to go home and take care of my baby," she recalls feeling exhausted but also alarmed by what was going on.

Alm had to relearn how to walk, write and do other everyday tasks.

As she took part in rehab, she used a doll or brought in her little girl, Millie, so she could work on balance and being able to care for her independently.

"Learning how to hold the baby or change a diaper and little things that were so hard at first, got easier and easier. I had that moment of weakness and my husband would be like, you have five minutes, and then you get up, you keep going," Alm told us.

She has kept going. She was able to talk part in the American Heart Association's Heart Walk this spring. And she's a featured survivor at the Go Red for Women Expo on Tuesday, September 24th.

Doctors are still running tests to determine what caused her stroke. Regardless of those answers, Alm is thankful she's been surrounded by good care and support and that she listened to her gut when her body didn't feel right.