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Stroke Survivor of the Month - November/December 2004

Saundra L. Barnes
New York, New York

The stroke experience is unpredictable. Nobody prepares for it to happen but when it does, attitude is everything. We applaud Saundra's strength and determination to pursue her recovery independently.

Saundra says:

“January 20, 2000 started out as a very ordinary day for me but one event that occurred during that day changed my life forever. I suffered a stroke and heart attack that afternoon.

Home alone, I wasn't sure of what was happening to me but I fought the feeling of buckling knees and a flailing right arm. I telephoned my sister who tried to tell me to call the EMS. I immediately insisted that she come to my home and contact them. After getting off the phone with my sister I called an old high school friend and she said she would jump into a taxi and get right over to my house.

They both arrived at the same time. My old friend came into the apartment with aspirins and a homeopathic medicine called Rescue Remedy. She dropped a few drops in a glass of water and handed me two aspirins and she told me to take them immediately while my sister called the paramedics. By this time my body had weakened from the stroke and I could hardly walk. I remained conscious throughout my stroking ordeal. Matter of fact, by the time the paramedics had arrived I had convinced myself that I was okay and that I just wanted to sit up awhile. The EMS insisted I go to the hospital anyway just for a routine checkup. I was in total denial. I have never been sick before my 52 years of life; this was a shocking experience for me. I did not know how to handle or process this experience comfortably.


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