Suffering a stroke under 40 and how to identify one

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Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 8:20 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 5, 2022 at 8:56 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - When people think of someone having a stroke, most picture someone much older than 40. But strokes can happen to anyone at any age and sometimes they don’t even present some of the more common symptoms.

“So we often say that with a stroke we look for what we call FAST, F.A.S.T.,” says Dr. Lacey Cavanaugh.

FAST stands for:

F - Facial Drooping

A - Arm Weakness

S - Speech Difficulty

T - Time Sensitivity

A stroke can happen to anyone and the recovery is different for each survivor.

“It was weird, you know I got dizzy, and then I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t feel my legs or arms, it was weird, " recalled Morgan Comeaux. “I never had anything like that. I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know it was a stroke I just knew something was wrong.”

Morgan had her stroke on January 31 at the age of 18. Within 6 hours of being taken to the emergency room, she regained feeling in her arms and legs. She would return to school two weeks later and is still working through speech therapy.

But some are not as quick to bounce back from a stroke.

Amber Trahan had her stroke on March 6 at the age of 31 and her journey to recovery has been much harder.

“It’s difficult, we have three small kids, we had to hire a nurse to be with me for 50 hours a week, while my husband’s at work. I can’t get around by myself, I can’t drive, I can’t work anymore,” says Trahan.

Amber called the whole experience an emotional roller coaster and is continuing in her recovery journey.

Crystal Mayo had her stroke five years ago at 38 years old. Recovery has taken time for Crystal as well.

Mayo says, “I was partially blind. I could not read well. I had reading comprehension issues. My memory struggled, I had a lot of short-term memory loss, I couldn’t drive for two years, I had multi-tasking deficiency, and I had three small kids at the time which is hard when you can’t multi-task.”

And now, 5 years out from her stroke, Crystal says she doesn’t have any lingering symptoms.

If you don’t know if you or someone around you is having a stroke, remember the acronym FAST and get that person to the ER as soon as possible.

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