Younger and younger patients are experiencing stroke symptoms

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Robin Lemmons was just 53 years old when a phone call changed her life.

“I spent a week in the hospital, two months off work, two months of rehab,” Lemmons said. "I had a walker, with a cane, with a leg brace. So it doesn't just happen to the older generation anymore.”

She was talking on the phone when her boss on the other line notice her speech starting to slur.

“It was a wake-up call,” Lemmons said.

At the hospital she was diagnosed with a stroke.

“About every 40 seconds somebody In America has a stroke,” said Stephanie Shawver, stroke program manager.

May is Stroke Awareness Month and Stephanie Shawver says knowing the risk factors plays a major role.

“My grandpa had one too in his 60s so probably in the family,” Lemmons said.

Those with high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity should also keep their conditions in check.

“We know that not all strokes are preventable but 80 percent of strokes are preventable,” Shawver said.

Sometimes a patient may notice a sudden onset of stroke symptoms that then resolve within five minutes or so.

“That’s something called a TIA, also more commonly known as a MINI-stroke,” Shawver said. “It can be a major precursor for stroke.”

It's still considered a serious medical emergency. Those who suffer from a TIA usually have a stroke within a few days.

“Don't put it off,” Lemmons said. “If you think that you're having one or someone else is telling you that these are your symptoms, please do not put it off or have somebody to drive you.”

Remember the acronym BE FAST.
B for balance, E for eyes, F for facial drooping, A for arms, S for speech and T for time.

“I was just worried about everything around me, my family my job, everything around me,” said Lemmons.

She says she still deals with some paralysis but it grateful she didn’t wait to seek medical treatment.

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