'I knew something was wrong': Nurse who had stroke at age 36 shares story to raise awareness
A Vassar Brothers Medical Center nurse is sharing her stroke story to help educate others during National Stroke Awareness Month.
NICU nurse Jenna Pascale was a healthy, active mom of four boys.
She suffered a stroke last year at just 36 years old while working her shift in the NICU at Vassar Brothers.
"I just was jumbling my words. I couldn't get them out… my right side was drooping a little bit at work that my coworkers noticed. And I started to get upset because I knew something was wrong," she said.
The emergency room at Vassar wasn't far because the ER staff told her she was having a stroke and likely had been having mini ones for months.
"We never expect someone in her age, in her healthy state to have a stroke. And that's the key point about strokes. It can happen to anybody, at any place, at any time," says
Dr. Paul Wright, of Vassar Brothers Medical Center.
Wright, a neurologist, says its crucial to lead a healthy lifestyle with exercise and not smoking to lower your risk level.
He also suggests noting the signs of a stroke by 'BE FAST':
B - Is there a loss of balance?
E – Is there a problem with eyes or vision?
F – Is there drooping in the face?
A - Is there arm weakness if you hold them out front?
S – Is there an issue with speech?
T - If so, it's time to call 911.
ccording to the CDC, someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds, so recognizing the signs means much more when every second counts.