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‘For now, I am grateful.’

Teammate Takeover
Tricia Callaway with her husband and children

On March 1, 2019, I had a stroke. I am a young, fit, mother of three, who exercises every day and had no risk factors or family history of stroke.

After a great workout at the gym, I experienced a severe headache, dizziness and blurred vision. I knew something was wrong. I reached out to my husband, who found me about 5 to 10 minutes later. By then, I had lost vision in my left eye, the ability to speak in any meaningful way, and I had lost mobility on both sides of my body.

My husband rushed me to the Emergency Department and while he was carrying me in, he was screaming, ‘she is having a stroke!’ He was right.

Thankfully, we recognized the warning signs immediately, and we acted fast to get me the help that I needed. After loads of tests, and meetings with my Neurologist, I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease where my body attacks my blood and forms clots. This particular clot went to my brain, but luckily it broke apart there. Now that we know what caused my stroke, I am working with my doctors to take the necessary precautions to prevent another stroke from happening.

My doctors have told me how lucky I am to have little to no permanent deficits, which I know is not everyone’s outcome.

Later this month, I am running the Falmouth Road Race with Tedy’s Team for the first time as a survivor. I plan to use my second chance at life to help educate, spread awareness, and support other stroke survivors and their families.

For now, I am grateful.

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