Strokes on the rise among young people, Mid-South woman survives

More young people suffering strokes

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - An alarming trend has emerged in the Mid-South with more people, 40 years old and under, having heart attacks.

However, doctors say strokes can strike you while you're young as well.

For the most part, Stephanie Buntin and her family live a healthy life.

So when Buntin started feeling not like herself on Easter Sunday, she became suspicious.

“I remember praying in church, having my head bowed, my eyes closed and I would waiver, my balance would waiver back and forth. I remember noting that this is odd,” said Buntin.

A few days later, she experienced symptoms like severe pain on the right side of her head and neck pain.

It eventually became too much and she took herself to the ER.

“It was a long wait and I decided, ‘This is really silly, I should just go.’ I was embarrassed. This is a headache. I'm here for a headache,” said Buntin.

But she stayed and neurologists at Methodist University Hospital eventually diagnosed her with a dissected artery. It's a tear in an artery that can block blood flow.

Buntin was told she may be at an enhanced risk of stroke.

She began to experience some of the tell-tale symptoms of a stroke, like blurred vision and pain on the left side of her head.

Her husband took her to the hospital, where she started losing feeling in her left arm.

Her only other experience with a stroke was watching her grandparents go through them.

She said her grandfather was left with limited speech and movement.

“I began to tell my husband how much I loved him, how proud of him I was and how much of a good dad he is to our girls,” said Buntin.

Because she knew about the symptoms, Buntin arrived at the hospital just in time for the stroke to be completely reversed.

Buntin says she looks at every day as a gift because she may not have been here had she not taken her symptoms seriously.

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