Man has strokes at 28 and 33, lives to warn others

Alexis Padilla and Laura McMillan

14 hours ago

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – May is National Stroke Awareness Month. Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. They can affect anyone.

A Wichita-area stroke survivor thought he was far too young to have a stroke.

“I just woke up on the floor and thought maybe I had passed out,” Bill Ramsey said. “I was 28 years old. And I had the second when I was 33. The second time I got one, I was completely blind.

He waited two days before going to the doctor.

“He told me he thought I had a stroke, and I was like, ‘Doc, I’m 33. I haven’t had a stroke. “And of course, turns out I did,” Ramsey said.

Prompt action is a critical factor in recovery.

“The longer a stroke patient does not receive care in a hospital, the more damage is done to them,” said Heather Smart of the American Heart Association. “So we want people to be able to act quickly, whether it’s calling 911 or getting someone to the emergency room as quickly as possible.”

Even though it happened years ago, Ramsey still has side effects of strokes.

“About a year of struggling with short term memory loss, I find it difficult to have conversations with people where I would lose my place. I have lost a lot of left side sensitivity. My face droops when I’m tired,” Ramsey said. “I call them acceptable losses because it could have been a lot worse.”

His experience reminds us that it can happen to anyone.

“It’s not about your age. It’s not about your health,” he said. “There are all sorts of things that can cause it, and you need to understand what those signs are so you can help someone.”

Ramsey said he was proof that having a stroke doesn’t necessarily mean your life is over.

“You can get over it and have a wonderful life,” he said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a person in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. This represents nearly 800,000 people per year.

Nearly one in four strokes involves people who have already had one.

The American Heart Association says to think FAST

  • F = Falling face — Does one side of the face sag or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile irregular?
  • A = arm weakness — Is an arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does an arm drift down?
  • S = Speech Difficulty — Is the speech slurred?
  • T = Time to call 911

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