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Local woman says having a stroke at the age of 40 changed her outlook

Posted at 6:29 AM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 11:38:41-04

TEMPLE, TX — Beverly Dekle now walks with a cane. She woke up one day with a bad headache, nothing out of the ordinary for her.

She continued with her day and then realized she felt off while at work. Not thinking much of it, she got home from work and went to bed.

It wasn't until the next morning she realized she needed to go to the hospital.

"When I got up and tried to move I noticed tingling and just numbness on my left side," Dekle said. "I tried to stand up and went straight down."

While her husband was rushing her to the hospital, she realized at age 40 she had a stroke.

Genetics weren't in her favor. She had a family history of strokes and other medical conditions from her parents. What she didn't realize is it would happen so soon.

"It happened to my mother, but I wasn't expecting turn 40 three months later have a stroke," Dekle said.

Her stroke happened on February 14th, Valentines Day, and she's been in intense physical therapy at the Hillcrest Impatient Rehabilitation Center and the Baylor Scott & White Roney and Bone Institute.
Melissa Brown the Director of Business Development for the Hillcrest Impatient Rehabilitation Center has worked closely with Dekle, and Brown says Dekle's attitude has been great.

"The attitude is 100 percent important but also that intense therapy is huge as well," Brown said.

Dekle has worked hard for three months trying to regain her strength back, Just two months ago, she could barley walk or even dress herself without help.

"She's got that intense therapy and has continued on in outpatient her outcomes has been great," Brown said.

Fishing her most recent appointment, Dekle showed great signs of recovery. Her physical therapist even suggesting she try walking without her cane from time to time. Overjoyed, this news brought emotions to Dekle she wasn't expecting.

"I am I'm almost crying," Dekle said.

She came in to her appointment using a cane and 30-minutes later she left with a new self-confidence, without the cane.
Now an advocate for stroke awareness and advice to those who could be at risk.

"Make sure that that blood pressure is down and listen to your gut if you're not feeling right, get to the ER," Dekle said.

Doctors have noticed more young adults are being victim to a stroke. Dr. Jennifer Rasmussen-Winkler director of stroke neurology says prevention can be simple.

"One of the theories is we're not as mobile of a society as we used to be. We sue a lot of cars we fly a lot of airplanes and we don't walk through neighborhoods so the exercise level as dropped," Dr. Rasmussen-Winkler said.

She also says many also don't take preventative care, meaning people don't know they have common conditions like high blood pressure. A condition that can lead to a stroke.

According to the CDC, they say more than 3 out of 5 people actually know the signs and symptoms of a stroke and to call 9-1-1. The most important thing to remember is to act F.A.S.T. This is an acronym that can help you if someone or yourself is having a stroke.

F stands for face drooping, A stands for arm weakness, S is speech difficulty and T means it's time to call 9-1-1. For more information on stroke awareness visit the American Stroke Association's website.