Friday, October 28, 2011

Telling the Story of Strokes In Oklahoma

Over the past month through out You're the Cure network you've heard about the signs of strokes, you've heard about stroke care in Oklahoma and you've heard about the financial cost of stroke. Now it's time to hear a personal story about how stroke can change a life. Pam Bedford is a stroke survivor and valued advocate with the American Heart Association. She has graciously agreed to share her story with us.

Above is a picture of Pam visiting with
Rep. Ann Coody at the State Capitol about
stroke care in Oklahoma.

My name is Pam Bedford and I am a stroke survivor of five years. I was 43 years old when my life changed. It happened while getting ready one Saturday morning when I heard a lout buzzing in my ears, numbness on the right side of my body, a horrific headche and an overwhelming urge to fall asleep. My husband of 11 months called 911 and I was rushed to St. Anthony Hospital. I fell unconsious and woke up 5 days later. I spent the next 24 days in the rehabilitation depatment learning how to talk, walk, eat. sit up and try to understand why this has happened. I was like a little baby learning basic skills all over again. The kind of stroke I had is called a hemorrhagic stroke (brain bleed). I have left side muscle weakness and right side nerve damage along with a number of other issues. Being left handed, I had to learn to start using my right hand. My old "normal" was no more and now I have to create a new normal. Today, I still live with the side effects of my stroke. I am leading a fulfilling life. I have learned to listen to my body more and not take life for granted. This has given me an opportunity of helping others that I never would have had.



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