Hello friends, family, acquaintances or anyone reading this, I would like to thank you in advance for taking the time to visit my page!
A year and a half ago I started a journey I never imagined I would take, and one I would never wish upon anyone. I was the victim of a cryptogenic stroke in my occipital lobe. Before August 19th, 2015 I honestly had no clue what a stroke was and I definitely didn't know what the symptoms were. With a history of occular migraines I just assumed I was finally experiencing a true migraine with aura, even the doctor in the first emergency room thought so! I was sent home that day with migraine medication. With no improvement the next day my family suggested that I go back to the hospital, but I felt embarassed because I had been told the day before that I was just having a migraine. I decided I would first call Telehealth who advised me to go back to the hospital, where I was eventually sent to a different town for two CT scans. I remember my Dad driving me back to Kincardine that night, it was a quiet ride, and I was so nervous. I think we both knew something was wrong. When we arrived back at our local hospital they were waiting for us (Never a good sign!) and proceeded to ask me if I had hit my head, because I had a brain injury.
Shortly after hearing this we were told that it was a stroke. 'You have had a stroke, but I don't think they are going to operate' is what the doctor actually said, and my first thought was 'Is it too late for me?!'. I was immediately taken to the London Health Sciences Center where I had the best nurses and doctors I could imagine. I learned I had a congenital heart defect, a hole in my heart that many people are born with, but that mine never closed on it's own. While I will never know exactly what caused the blood clot, the doctors believe that it made it's way to my brain through the hole in my heart. My cardiologist told me that my heart had already become enlarged, and that if this hole hadn't been found that I likely wouldn't have made it past my fifties. About 10 months later I had minimally invasive heart surgery to close that hole and now I am better than new.
Because of the stroke I am blind in the right half of both of my eyes, and have some strange sensations in the right side of my body but if I had never had my stroke I never would have found out about this ticking time bomb in my chest. Everything about my life has changed, from my eating habits and physical fitness to relationships with both friends and family. I would like to thank everyone who has been there for me through this journey (and there is a lot of you!). And if sharing my story brings awareness to even one person I will consider this a success!
As a team Liber Race needs to raise at least $900 but I am hoping we can exceed that! Any little bit counts and is EXTREMELY appreciated!
Here's to being our fittest most fabulous selves in 2017!