Young people miss signs of stroke - New York News

Young people miss signs of stroke

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At 41, Prince Quire looks like a very healthy guy. So, what happened after a pickup game of basketball caught him off guard.

"Once I was done with the game, sat down on the side, to catch a breather. Try to get up after that, and just passed out," says Quire

Quire was wobbly on his feet. So, his buddy, whose wife is a doctor, sat him down again.

“And he asked me to move my left arm and my legs, and he saw I had trouble moving it. And he was like, ‘This guy is having a stroke, call a doctor immediately! Call 911!’ And they did,” says the husband and father of four

Prince was taken to one ER, then another, then airlifted to Grady Hospital.

“When I got to Grady, I called my wife and told her I have to go through emergency surgery. That's when they went through my groin up to my head. It was a blood clot to the brain.”

A stroke occurs when a bleed or a blood clot disrupts blood flow supplying the brain. If that blood flow isn't restored quickly, the brain tissue begins to die.

And when we think about stroke, we think about older people.

"But we see people in their 30's and 40's that are having strokes," says Grady's Chief of Neurology, Dr. Michael Frankel

Dr. Frankel says stroke in younger people can be caused by a trauma to the blood vessels, or drug abuse. But often, he says it's tied to lifestyle.

"So we see high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking in younger people. And those are still the leading risk factors for why people have strokes, even though they're younger."

Quire was seemingly healthy - only 39 - when he had his stroke.

Grady emergency physician Dr. Michael Ross says younger people may miss key warning signs - weakness, numbness, and balance problems, because they're not looking for them.

"They tend to happen in females, younger patients, minorities. And they tend to present with less typical symptoms. So, things like dizziness, as opposed to weakness on one side of the body," says Dr. Ross

If you suspect you're having a stroke, Ross says call 911, ask to be taken to a designated stroke center.

Two years after his stroke, Quire is doing well, and taking care of himself.

"I'm a Christian, and I believe that God really saved me. He had a second chance for me. And, I learned a lot from that," says Quire.

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