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Stroke survivor group uses social media to help others

Posted at 11:14 PM, Mar 22, 2020

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — It can happen to anyone at any time. More than 700,000 people in America have a stroke every year, according to the CDC. Three local women know first hand what that's like, so they created a group to share their stories and, in turn, help others.

"I went into cardiac arrest I coded twice for a total of 20 minutes before they brought be back with CPR at that point I had 5% heart life and they told my family say goodbye she's not expected to live," said Angie Jorgensen who survived a stroke back in 2012.

Sarah Conaway had a stroke back in 2016 when at the hospital with her daughter. "As soon as I sat down to fill out the admissions paperwork, I suddenly lost feeling on the right side of my body," said Conaway.

Tamsen Butler had a stroke back in 2015. She had returned home from the store when her left eye when blind, and she felt dizzy. "I dropped some stuff, and I remember asking the kids to get me a pillow because I wanted to lie down right there in the kitchen," said Butler.

They were all in their 30's and 40's when their strokes occurred, and all felt the same about it. "Normally, when we think of stroke, we think of 80 as an age," said Jorgensen.

Now thanks to social media, they're sharing their stories intending to help others. "Were a trio of stroke survivors who advocate for stroke awareness." Their group name, the "Three Stromies." "When I use to go to coffee with these two, I would tell my husband that I got to go have coffee with my stroke homies, so he shortened it to stromies," said Butler.

For others who are dealing with what they've already been through, their humor and posts are showing them, they have support. "I think a lot of stroke survivors suffer from feeling isolated and alone because there's something about damage to your brain that does a number on you," said Butler.

Their posts also show there's a light at the end of the tunnel, and you can recover from that traumatic experience. "Paying it forward is precious. It gives a gift back that you're not even necessarily looking for, you're just trying to help somebody else after you've gone through something," said Jorgensen.

They say they hope to write a book one day about overcoming their difficulties. If you want to follow them on social media, search "Stromies" on Facebook and Instagram. They also have a website, which you can find at this link.