Stroke Warrior Recovery Coach - Kimi Woolsey
Jan 18, 2020 03:33PM
● By Leslie McCarroll
There’s nothing that can prepare you for it... one minute you’re juggling 1 million things in your life that all seem so important, caring for everybody at the same time and then instantaneously you’re literally dropped to your knees without warning. So many things that you took for granted change in that very second but the one thing that stands out as having changed the most is your perspective on life. Strokes don’t discriminate. Anytime, anywhere, it can happen to anyone.
September 4, 2019 - It was like any other day, Kimi was getting ready to head to a doctor’s appointment in Carson City. Same morning rush as usual, splashed water on her face and sat down to use the bathroom and that’s when her life changed unexpectedly. Sharp excruciating pain took over the right side of her body as she tried to get up and a very bright light engulfed both eyes. Her vison was blurred, the right side of her body became lifeless, and she knew something was terribly wrong. By God’s good grace, her fiancé and her son were home at the time and were able to help and act quickly. As the REMSA ambulance arrived, she tried to get up but her body was completely lifeless from the waist down. She remembers thinking she didn’t want her son to see her die.
Kimi suffered a mini stroke at home followed by a massive stroke rated 16 on the NIH Stroke scale (typically fatal) en route to the hospital. Thanks to the swift work of the team at Renown, she had emergency brain surgery as soon as she arrived. They discovered that Kimi had suffered something very unique called a “dissection” in which the tissue pulls away from your brain enough to pull up blood so it’s similar to an aneurism. Kimi has undergone four excruciating months of intense physical therapy to gain mobility and movement back in her left side. There’s no telling when, or if, it will ever come back. The pain is unbearable at times and with limited availability of local physiatrists, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, she is forced to travel to Stanford to get the help she needs. As a self-employed medical esthetic technician, Kimi’s insurance premium is running out fast and her medical bills far exceed $250k and climbing due to the ongoing therapy that she will require for an unknown length of time. Unfortunately, Kimi doesn’t qualify for disability benefits because the state of Nevada requires full disability and though her condition is “partial disability,” she can’t work, she can’t drive, she can’t be alone for any length of time, and she’s completely dependent on everyone around her; a tough pill to swallow considering she was an independent multitasker at the top of her game just a few months ago.
Before the stroke Kimi says she was so accustomed to doing 18 things at once and never in the moment. Now, it’s physically impossible to do more than one thing at a time. It’s the best gift she’s ever had. She’s in the moment with people, her kids, and everything is such a blessing. She doesn’t take anything for granted.
Kimi is bound and determined to not let this define her. She has decided to become at “Stroke Warrior Recovery Coach” to help other stroke survivors gain their lives back. Kimi is very fortunate not only to be alive, but also to be at the level of recovery she is at with the type of stroke she experienced. To learn more about Kimi’s story and to offer your support, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/ydg9ad-kimi-woosley-road-to-recovery
“When people think of being healthy, they think of eating right, going to the gym, not drinking.. they don’t think of mental health being a big part of it. Mental health is number 1. I now mediate whereas I didn’t before. I focus on being in the moment and taking a slower pace at life.”
Be aware of the signs of a stroke to be able to act quickly. In a matter of a few seconds a life can be saved and the severity of a stroke can be managed. According to GoRedForWomen.com, the signs of a stroke include:
Sudden onset of any of the following:
numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
blurred vision, trouble seeing in one or both eyes
dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, trouble walking
severe headache with no known cause
F.A.S.T. – Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 911
Stroke is not only the No. 4 cause of death in the United States, it’s also a leading cause of severe, long-term disability. That’s why it’s important to take action immediately. You should never wait more than five minutes to dial 9-1-1 if you experience even one of the signs above. Remember, you could be having a stroke even if you’re not experiencing all of the symptoms. And remember to check the time. The responding emergency medical technician or ER nurse at the hospital will need to know when the first symptom occurred. Research conducted by The American Stroke Association shows that patients who take a clot-busting drug, or thrombolytic, within three hours of their first stroke symptom can reduce long-term disability from ischemic stroke – the most common type, accounting for about 87 percent of all cases. Your life is in your hands! Learn more about the factors that increase your risk for heart disease and stroke at GoRedforWomen.com.