Stroke Survivor Shares Symptoms and Leads Greater Northern NJ on Taking Steps to a Healthier Community

My name is Judy Zayas, I’m 44 and live in New Jersey. I love my family, helping others and my work families. I dislike TIA’s and strokes.

My first stroke was caused by a procedure I had done on my neck. Two years and many TIA’s later, I had my second stroke. At the time, they found a PFO, and went ahead with a procedure to close it immediately. I walked out of the hospital, both times, without any issues, until January of 2019.

I was driving to work, talking to my mom as my arm and face went numb and my chest started to hurt. This time, I knew what was coming, so I decided to stop at the nearest hospital.  I felt much different this time around, I felt confused. I was given a TPA, stayed in ICU overnight, transferred to step down for 4 days, and then transferred to rehab for 9 days. I was so weak on the left side I could only walk a few feet. On day 11, I was able to walk up all 15 of my stairs without any assistance.

After leaving rehab, it was time to get accustomed to what would now be my “new normal”. By participating in countless therapy sessions and constantly working out my left side, I finally had the mobility I thought I would never get back. I will never be at 100%. When I’m stressed, exhausted or overheated, I can start to feel the weakness. Seeing a Hematologist also gave me answers as to why I’ve had this repeatedly. I was diagnosed with APS. I share my story in hopes that I can help someone that may be going through a similar situation.  Join me in the fight against heart disease and stroke on October 20th at the Greater Northern NJ Heart Walk!

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