Chicago Stroke Survivor Shares Story in Hopes of Saving Others

Actor Luke Perry's deadly stroke, at the age of just 52, left many stunned and now doctors say recognizing the signs of a stroke can make all the difference.

Detrice Sumler is a Chicago survivor who has to re-learn basic activities after suffering a stroke a week and a half ago.

“Never in a million years did i think that i 45 years old sitting here not able to walk, sounding like a robot,”she explained.

Sumler was out celebrating her 45th birthday with friends, when she suddenly said she couldn’t move her left leg.

“And Yvonne jumped up and said what is your name?" she said. "And I tried to talk and I could not talk and she screamed call 911 she’s having a stroke and I looked at her like what in the world are you saying.”

It was a brain bleed that caused the stroke and complete loss of movement on her left side. Thanks to her friends who recognized the signs, she is alive.

Experts use the acronym known as “FAST,” which stands for Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties and Time to call for help.

“Whether it's usually can’t move one’s side well, can’t move arm well or they are having problems with speech, then you need to get to an appropriate center as quickly as possible,” said Rush University Medical Center Dr. Webster Crowley.

Sumler says she is sharing her story to save others.

“I want everyone to know, teach your children the signs of stroke,” she said.

“Oh that will never happen to me; yeah it can. Look at me, I can’t move..."

Regular therapy at Rush however, and continued outpatient care, she is expected to make a full recovery.

“The bleed that’s there will re-absorb over time and really she should only get better from here on out,” said Dr. Webster Crowley.

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