Telltale signs: Mother shares stroke survival story

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)- Just ten weeks after a life changing emergency, An Eau Claire mom shares her story of survival and recovery in hopes of helping others.

Back in July, Stephanie Sherry suffered a stroke but thanks to the quick thinking of her sons she's on the road to recovery.

Now she is hoping others will learn a lesson from her story.

“I walked over to the refrigerator to pull stuff out and I noticed that my hand was numb and that's when I knew something was wrong,” Stephanie Sherry explained as she stood in the kitchen of her Eleva home.

Just 10 weeks ago Sherry had the first signs of a stroke in her kitchen. Day by day she is recovering.

“I had some balance issues at first but they were able to help me thorough that,” she explained.

Sherry said she is sharing her experience in hopes that others can learn the telltale signs of a stroke, in the end she hopes this message will help others.

“I didn't have feeling in my left hand and I realized I couldn't move my left arm at,” she explained.

“A stroke is the leading cause of disabilities of all diseases,” Angie Gullicksrud, Stroke Coordinator at Mayo Clinic Health System said.

Gullicksrud, who helped Stephanie on her road to recovery, says strokes are the fourth leading cause of death right now in the U.S. That's why it’s so important to promote awareness.

“It’s important that the second you think you are having a stroke that you are calling 911 and getting to the hospital immediately. What’s happening is an area of your brain is losing oxygen and blood flow and within minutes those cells die so with early intervention and getting to the hospital helps,” Gullicksrud explained.

Gullicksrud says the good news is a large number of strokes are preventable it’s just a matter of making lifestyle changes.

“Control your modifiable risk factors like the hypertension, smoking, high cholesterol,” Gullicksrud said.

Studies have shown that making those lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of having a stroke by 80%.

In addition to sharing her story with WEAU, Stephanie will be speaking this weekend at the Heart Walk being held this Saturday in Carson Park. More information on the walk can be found on the right hand side of this screen.

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