McKinney Mom Suffers Stroke After Coughing Fit

A Frisco ISD school teacher is sharing a lesson that could potentially save lives.

The 38-year-old mother of two suffered a stroke that was caused by something she least expected, but doctors say her quick recognition of the symptoms saved her life

Stuck in a hospital bed isn't where Janette Church ever thought she'd be at this stage in her life.

"I work out three to four times a week. I track everything I eat in my Fitness Pal app," she said. "There's no reason that I should have thought that."

It was during a recent workout, Church says she began to feel weird symptoms.

She suddenly lost eyesight in one eye.

Her left hand became numb. She couldn't talk normally.

She called 911.

"The paramedics were asking so many questions and I was frustrated because I knew all of the answers.  It seems like it was taking me forever to get them out," she said.

Paramedics rushed her to Baylor McKinney and then she was airlifted to Baylor in Dallas, where Dr. Joe Hise, Chief of Neuro Interventional Service at Baylor University Medical Center showed us the problem.

A small tear in Church's artery, in her neck, allowed blood to pool and then eventually pinch the artery 99 percent closed, blocking blood to her brain.

"Her story isn't unusual. It tends to occur out of the blue. It can occasionally be associated with getting your neck twisted in some sort of trauma," he said.

The only thing that Church says that would have caused it?  A coughing fit two weeks prior.

"I felt strained but after that, I heard my heartbeat in my ear, constantly."
Doctors say she is lucky.  They say many times, young people ignore the symptoms believing they're too young for a stroke.

"With large strokes in young people, you can get enough swelling of the brain that you can die!" says Dr. Hise. Church got help right away and Dr. Hise was able to perform a small procedure to repair her artery.

Janette is expected to make a 100 percent recovery

"I want to go back to working out, working, making dinners and being mom and all those things."

The American Stroke Association uses the acronym FAST. 

F stands for face drooping.

A is for arm weakness.

S is for speech difficulty and

T stands for time to call 911.

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