The Many Faces of Stroke: Stroke Survivor Stories

Stroke, a leading cause of death in the United States, can happen to anyone at any time. Just ask these survivors. From undiagnosed high blood pressure to unknown family history for stroke, many things can affect stroke risk. Read these survivor stories to learn more about stroke, including how you may be at risk, how to recognize stroke, and what to do if stroke happens.

Adrian Cushenberry and her family.

Active, healthy, and just 49 years old, Adrian thought he was the last person who needed to think about stroke. But Adrian did not realize that he had an increased risk of stroke due to family history.

Alyson McCord

A series of mini-strokes, followed by a major stroke, compelled Alyson to get her high blood pressure under control and make other lifestyle changes.

Blanche Teal-Cruise

Blanche didn’t realize her smoking habit put her at risk for stroke. A “mini-stroke” was the wake-up call she needed to quit smoking and change her life.

Brooke Bergfeld and his family.

Brooke had a stroke just one week after giving birth at age 29. She did not realize that women are at risk for stroke during and after childbirth.

No smoking

An African American man, Charles didn’t realize that he had an increased risk for stroke. Charles had a stroke when he was just 52.

Clark Caffall

Clark Caffall always ate a healthy diet, but his high cholesterol may have been inherited. He urges people to get regular checkups and to have their cholesterol levels checked.

John Murphy

John struggled for years with unhealthy weight, but he didn’t realize how his lifestyle, including his food choices, affected his stroke risk. John had a stroke at age 45.

Lilian Tsi Stielstra

Lilian didn’t realize that getting more physical activity could help lower her high blood pressure, a major risk for stroke. Her stroke at age 46 was a wake-up call to change her eating and activity habits.

Prince Quire

Prince didn’t know that he had uncontrolled high blood pressure—a leading risk factor for stroke. He had a stroke when he was just 39.

Wanda Sturtz

Wanda Sturtz tells her story to encourage others to make changes that can minimize their risk of stroke.