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'Totally scared': A 27-year-old's road to recovery after a stroke

May is National Stroke Awareness Month
Posted at 7:22 PM, May 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-13 20:22:07-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — May is National Stroke Awareness Month, and while strokes are commonly talked about within older populations, health experts warn that young adults are just as affected.

Megan Masterson has had to relearn the basics: coordination, talking, walking. At CHI Immanuel Rehabilitation Institute, she's been going to rehab to learn how to be herself again after a stroke in January.

"My head just felt like it exploded I just had immense pain in my head," Masterson said, as she recalled her stroke.

Masterson was at work in Chicago when she collapsed from the pain. Doctors found that she has suffered a stroke at the young age of 27.

"You don't really hear about it happening to young people," Masterson said.

Her mother Patti Woods was devastated when she heard the news back in Omaha.

"I was scared. I was totally scared," she said.

Misconceptions are common when it comes to strokes. It's something that affects not just the elderly.

"Around 10 to 15% of the total strokes are in younger individuals who are less than 50," CHI's stroke medical director, Dr. Vishal Jani said.

Strokes affect women more before the age of thirty and after thirty, men are more at risk. But there are signs and symptoms that everyone can look out for with a simple acronym: BE FAST.

B is for balance, a sudden loss of balance or coordination.
E is for eye, random vision loss.
F is for face and asymmetry of the face or droopiness.
A is for arm and any weakness or tingling associated with it.
S is for speech, any alteration or speech difficulty and
T is for time to call 911

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