Valrico mom warns others of early stroke risk

Heart Disease

TAMPA (WFLA) – At 38-year-old Lisa Johns of Valrico never thought she would have a stroke.

She woke up in July of 2020 and discovered her whole left side paralyzed from head to toe.

“When I woke up and stepped out of bed my whole left side from head to toe was paralyzed and when I stepped down, I just fell. Collapsed,” Johns said.

Her son called to Facetime with Lisa and noticed immediately something was very wrong.

“He said look, grandma, something’s wrong with her and she was like oh my gosh, she’s having a stroke,” Johns said.

Lisa’s mother called 911 and she was rushed to Brandon Regional Hospital where she was greeted by stroke nurse practitioner Ashley Harris.

“As soon as I saw Lisa, I knew she was having a massive stroke. She had a very pronounced left side facial droop. She was unable to look at anyone to her left. Her whole left side was paralyzed so this was your mac-daddy stroke, if you will.”

Johns underwent a thrombectomy to remove a brain clot in her brain but three days later she suffered another small stroke while still in the hospital.

It turns out Lisa had a hole in her heart that also needed to be repaired.

She remains under a doctor’s care after suffering a third stroke this September.

One thing she knows for sure… if her family had not called 911 immediately, she might not be alive.

“You can survive a stroke but can you be you? The biggest part of stroke treatment is to get you back to your functional independence. It’s not always about just saving your life,” Harris said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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