More young people suffering strokes
There’s been a troubling trend in the number of younger people experiencing stroke, rehabilitation experts at Parkwood Hospital say.
It’s often fueled by lifestyle factors, but sometimes there's no explanation, they say.
That's the case for a young London mother, who wants to help get the word out that when the signs of stroke appear, people should take action.
Alyssa Gilbert cherishes her playtime with her 9-month-old son Carter because just after his birth, the 35-year-old mom underwent emergency brain surgery following a pregnancy-induced stroke.
“There was a 15 percent chance of dying when I had my surgery. That's what they told my husband, which was hard for him to take."
The stroke left cognitive and motor problems.
“After I woke up…I could not remember what day it was. I couldn't do much with my right hand or foot."
It also took an emotional toll on the mother.
“I didn't know if I was going to be able to change him, change his sleeper or give him a bath."
Months of therapy followed, but today she says she is 98 per cent recovered.
“The best rehab for me was to just do it. The first time I did up Carter's sleeper it took me a while."
David Ure is the coordinator of the community stroke rehabilitation team at St. Joseph’s Health Care.
“With this (younger) demographic, we're looking at a doubling of stroke within the next 15 years."
He says for every hour stroke goes untreated the loss of neurons is over three and a half years of aging.