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Thursday, March 9, 2017

This Woman Survived An Unexpected Stroke -- At Just Age 36!

People often think that strokes only happen to older people. The truth is that about 25 percent of all strokes happen to people under the age of 65. Sonia Reyes was just 36 when she had her stroke. Nothing could prepare her for the shock of having a stroke and the long road that lay in front of her that led to recovery.

Strokes on the rise among younger people

The University of Southern California in Los Angeles reported that in the U.S., acute ischemic stroke hospitalizations increased by almost 44 percent in adults ages 25 to 44, between 2000 and 2010. While some younger people are at risk for stroke due to drug overdose, trauma, and in women who take birth control pills and smoke, in other cases there is no known cause for stroke in younger people. Many have no warning signs.

That was the case with Reyes who woke up realizing she had a stroke. The results were initially devastating. She was confined to a wheelchair because she could not walk. It affected her speech and her mobility on her right side. She even had to learn how to eat again.

The long road back

After several months of daily physical, occupational, and speech therapy, Reyes has recovered but admits she is not 100 percent. She still has difficulty remembering. She is also receiving botulinum toxin treatments (such as Xeomin) to loosen the muscles in her upper limbs. It is the same botox that some women get to relax facial muscles and eliminate wrinkles -- it works the same way.

Reyes' advice to others is not to take your health for granted. She admits that she was overweight, she smoked, and she was under a lot of stress from working so much. These are the factors she managed to change in her life. She looks at her stroke as a wake-up call, stating “It has affected me in good ways too. I think the stroke was God’s way of saying ‘slow down and smell the roses.’"

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