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Stroke victim shares story to raise awareness during National Stroke Awareness Month

Posted at 12:03 PM, May 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-17 08:42:51-04

WACO, TX — After suffering a stroke in March, one Central Texas woman is sharing her story to raise awareness during National Stroke Awareness Month.

Shannon Johnson of Abbott recollects the moments leading up to her stroke back in March.

“I had had a really bad headache that day, and by the time I had gotten to the hospital I had suffered a stroke and lost the whole right side of my body," Johnson said.

Johnson said she was able to get to the hospital to get the care she needed, and went through rehab at Baylor Scott & White-Hillcrest.

“I’m walking without a cane. I can write some. I’ve done a pre-driving assessment. I’m just waiting to drive. I have to drive for three hours before you’re able to drive a vehicle now," Johnson said.

For Johnson, being able to drive is a high priority for her.

“I’m a courier. I deliver to veterinarians supplies here in Waco and Temple. We go to the Metroplex and deliver up there," she explained. "I’m waiting. Hopefully I’ll be able to drive here in the next week or two.”

Johnson has some advice for anybody who thinks they may be having a stroke.

"Please don’t wait. Just call an ambulance if you don’t have a ride. Don’t try to drive yourself, and get to the hospital as quick as you can," she said.

Baylor Scott & White-Hillcrest Emergency Room Nurse Supervisor Holly Ivy stresses knowing the acronym of signs of stroke: F.A.C.E.

"Face: If you notice any drooping on yourself and others, even if you’re in the grocery store, and notice if somebody’s speech is slurred, or if you feel like they’re having a stroke if you ask them to hold up their arms and one of them isn’t as strong as the other," Ivy said. "The T is for “time” because you have from the time of onset of symptoms, and not the time that it was noted until 4.5 hours to be treated."

Central Texas hospitals and the CDC have information available online to help with identifying a stroke.