After a fortuitously timed lesson at school, 14-year-old Katie Murphy was able to recognize her mom's stroke symptoms — and save her life.
According to ABC local news affiliate WISN, the Wisconsin teen had learned the symptoms of a stroke just two days before her mother, Christa Murphy, suffered from one. Katie told WISN that she noticed that her mother's speech had become slurred, and remembered that her science teacher had told her class a story about what happens during a serious stroke.
"I thought it was kind of cool and weird that people's speech got mixed up [when they have a stroke]," she recalled to WISN. So when it happened to her mother, Katie immediately suspected that her mother might be having a stroke.
"Her speech was all mixed up, [it didn't] make sense at all," she told WISN. "Then I had gone back to that story, and was like: 'Maybe she's having a stroke.'"
Christa told WISN that she had been struggling with daily tasks, such as putting toothpaste on her toothbrush, and that's when she decided to call her daughter for help. Katie immediately called 911, and her mom was brought to a hospital where doctors confirmed that Christa had a stroke.
"They had said I had a stroke, which I could not believe at the age of 45 that that was happening," Christa told WISN.
According to the American Stroke Association, in addition to slurred speech, symptoms of a stroke include face drooping, weakened arms, and sudden trouble walking or seeing in one or both eyes.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen to the brain is blocked by a clot, or bursts, affecting the arteries leading to and within the brain. According to the ASA, strokes are the number 5 leading cause of death in the U.S., as well as a leading cause of disability. And though many of us associate strokes with older adults, they can certainly happen to younger people, as well.
Christa, for her part, is just thankful that her daughter was there when it happened.
"I'm extremely blessed to be sitting here today," she told WISN
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