Fort Worth Woman Survives Stroke at 29

A North Texas woman is sharing her story of survival after having a stroke at just 29 years old.

May is National Stroke Awareness month and Sylvia King wants to use her story to help others who may not immediately recognize the warning signs.

March 14, 2015, is a day King will remember for the rest of her life. It was a Saturday, and Sylvia said she was getting her home ready to host a friend's baby shower.

"I was fine. I got up and my face started tingling on one side and maybe I should have recognized that symptom, but I didn't," King recalled. "I have migraines all the time."

Sylvia said she didn't think anything of it and continued with her day as normal, but the symptoms continued. She started to get dizzy, and at that point she said she knew something wasn't right.

"Oh, this is not getting better, now I'm nauseous," she said, before laying down for about an hour to see if she could feel better.

It got worse.

"By the time I got up, I could not speak, I could not walk," King said.

Paramedics were called. King was rushed to Plaza Medical Center in Fort Worth. King is a registered nurse, though she had no idea what was happening to her.

"I had no symptoms the day before. I slept well. I'm fairly healthy, aside from being a little curvy. I don't have high blood pressure or high cholesterol or any of those things," King said. "The thought just didn't even cross my mind that I could be having a stroke."

And as a health care professional herself, she knew the signs of a stroke, but she never imagined she would experience her own at the age of 29.

She was taken to the operating room where doctors removed a blood clot. She was completely paralyzed on the left side of her body.

"I had played sports in high school, had multiple physicals in my childhood," King said. "Nobody told me I had a heart murmur or any kind of problem with my heart. So, they found that."

Four years later, King has made a full recovery and is now a champion for heart health, helping others live their best lifestyle.

"The takeaway that you need to know is health is wealth," she said. "My life completely stopped. When you're paralyzed, nothing else matters. The only thing that matters is getting better."

King is in the process of writing a book, "Stoke of Faith." She is partnering with the Black Heart Association to bring awareness about heart health, particularly among people of color.

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