When you’re in your twenties, you try to work out and eat healthy–heart disease is the last thing on your mind.
Nicole Enteado woke up on Nov. 29, 2014, thinking about a fun day of holiday shopping she had planned. But after about a half hour of lounging around, a strange sensation suddenly came over her.
“It was almost like feeling drunk,” she said, adding that she also began drooling.
She reached for a glass of water, but her dominant left hand wouldn’t move. Using her right hand, she took a swig, only have it dribble down her chin.
Confused, Enteado made her way to the bathroom, her legs feeling oddly heavy. Looking in the mirror, she saw the left side of her face was drooping.
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Although she was experiencing all the classic symptoms of stroke, Enteado didn’t realize it.
“I was 26 and healthy and active. There was no way I could be having a stroke,” said Enteado, who lives in Newport, Rhode Island.
Panicked, she called her parents, but by then her speech sounded garbled. Her parents thought it might be an allergic reaction so a friend drove Enteado to her parents’ home 20 minutes away. They took her to the nearest hospital, where testing revealed she was having a stroke.