Ethiopians Didn't Have a Term for ‘stroke.' So This Dallas Doctor Created One.

When Hareg Wolde arrived in the emergency room to see her mother, doctors gave her grave news. Her mother had suffered a massive stroke, they said, and she might not live through the night.Wolde was shocked. Just the day before, her mother, 68, had been strong and limber. She had climbed up and down the stairs of their Garland house with ease, cooked meals and cared for Wolde’s two young children. Now she lay unconscious, her right side paralyzed.The situation would be upsetting for anyone. But Wolde, who is originally from Ethiopia, felt bewildered. Not only had she never heard of a stroke, but her native language, Amharic, has no term to describe the world’s second leading cause of death.Her predicament is not uncommon in Dallas. Amharic is the fourth most commonly spoken language at Parkland Hospital after English, Spanish and Vietnamese. North Texas is home to as many as 40,000 Ethiopian immigrants and one of the fastest growing African-born populations in the United States.Language and cultural barriers contribute to poorer health among immigrants and ethnic minorities, said Dr. Mehari Gebreyohanns, a neurologist with UT Southwestern's Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute. Like Wolde, Dr. Gebreyohanns was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital. To help improve outcomes, Dr. Gebreyohanns introduced a new term in Amharic for stroke: ye-angol tikat, or “brain attack.”  Continue reading...

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