My story begins on June 15th, 2005. I had just finished my freshman year of college at Kansas State University. I was home for the summer and I woke up that morning and called my mom at her office. As soon as she said “Hello,” I began getting dizzy. My last memory from that morning was when I threw myself on my bed and thought, “This is it, Amanda; you’re dying.”
My mother quickly rushed home and found me unconscious. In the ER, my neurologist diagnosed my stroke as being caused by a blocked artery in my brainstem.
The doctors determined that my stroke was caused by a massive blood clot I had developed from my birth control pills. The clot traveled to my brain through a hole in my heart or PFO (patent foramen ovale). I had to relearn to walk, talk and many other everyday tasks. After less than 7 weeks, I walked out of the hospital, with a walker, and continued out-patient rehab.
My recovery has been nothing short of a miracle. Today, I am married, with two boys and I work as a Para educator with special needs children. The residuals of my stroke are less of a problem and more of a memory. I have anxiety, depression and substantial memory issues. However, I have learned to adapt, improvise and overcome.
In 2015, with the help of my local Brain Injury Association, I began a young brain injury support group in Kansas City. As a survivor of a brain injury at such a young age, I have learned that each day on this earth is a gift -we never know when our time will run out.