By John Ostapkovich
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The month of May is American Stroke Month and is it meant to raise awareness of an ailment that hits about 800,000 of us annually. Despite what some may think, it is not something that only strikes the old.
It was Friday the 13th, almost exactly three years ago, when Brent Wylie was bar-hopping in Atlanta. Suddenly, he fell and couldn’t get up.
EMTs arrived and Wylie says, “They put me on a gurney land said I probably had a stroke because I wasn’t moving my arms or legs, and I didn’t know anything about a stroke. I was only 23 at the time, so I was telling them, you know, there’s no way I had a stroke. I probably just had too much to drink.”
But it was a stroke and Wylie, now rehabbing with his mother in Philadelphia, can barely believe it.
“In my life, I didn’t have a problem going to the doctors or anything like that. I was always healthy. I worked out every day and wasn’t overweight or anything.”
Strokes come in two varieties, blockage and bleeding, both of which deprive the brain of oxygen. Wylie suffered a hemorrhagic or bleeding stroke and has been fighting his way back.
“My most deficits are just getting my left hand together and moving my left foot. I actually just got discharged from rehab, so I go to the gym like every day just to get things back to normal.”
He’s also studying for law school admission and helping to promote a way to determine if someone is having a stroke…
“And I know they use the acronym FAST for stroke and it’s f.a.s.t. and that is face, arm, speech and then time which is time to call the ambulance.”
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