May 12, 2010 1:02 PM by Veronica White

Stroke Survivor Says Act Fast

One Acadiana woman is putting her life back together after suffering a stroke-the number one cause of serious disabilities in the U.S.

Abbeville native Perchis Cartwright did not have high blood pressure or the risk factors, but she suffered a stroke in July last year.

She says people need to be aware that it happens all of a sudden, and it is crucial to get to the hospital fast.

"It was a hemorrhagic stroke, which is a bleed in the brain, and it's kind of like a faucet-- when it first starts to drip it's okay, but then it gushes out like a leaky faucet. If you wait, it's too late," says to Sally Roberts, head of the stroke unit at Our Lady of Lourdes.

Roberts says the risk factors for stroke include:high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, being overweight and smoking.

Also, African Americans are more likely to have a stroke.

Perchis was able to have surgery to stop her brain from bleeding, but she thought she would be paralyzed on her left side.

Now she is in therapy, slowly relearning motor skills.

"Every time I come to therapy something better happens-- I went from a wheelchair to this cane and now I'm beginning to walk without that cane," she says.

In honor of Stroke Month, join Our Lady of Lourdes and KATC this Friday from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at UL's Tigue Moore Field. Get screenings and answers to your questions while enjoying giveaways and the game.



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