Utah mom encourages others to look for signs of strokes after her 3-month recovery
HOLLADAY, Utah — A Utah mother is grateful she followed her gut and had her family call 911 after waking up in the middle of the night partially paralyzed.
Alison Henriksen, 60, said she felt no pain and is not sure what woke her up the night of her stroke.
“I woke up and for some reason, I lifted up my left arm and I don’t know if I was going get out of bed but I just realized that it was weird. My arm looked like it was floating,” Henriksen said.
Henriksen thought about sleeping it off, but instead had her son call 911.
“That’s the last thing I remember, that was it and then I collapsed,” she said. “Pretty soon the bleeding got bigger and bigger and bigger and spread throughout my brain.”
Doctors said she suffered a massive stroke. Her family members were not sure what the outcome would be.
“They did not know if I would survive for quite some time,” she said.
Remarkably after three months at St. Mark’s Hospital doing intensive physical therapy, she walked out as a stroke survivor with almost all of her movement back.
Nine months after her stroke she came back to the hospital to thank the medical team that saved her life, including neurologist Dr. Joseph Vickroy.
“She is very amazing, she was a fantastic patient and one that we will always remember,” Vickroy said.
Henriksen said her story serves as a reminder to always trust your instincts, saying calling 911 can be the difference between life and death.
“Had I not done that, yeah it would be a different story right now,” she said. “Obviously do it, call because the other side of that could be devastating.”
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