Health

Gwinnett Stroke Survivor Pays it Forward

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Every four minutes someone dies of stroke. This is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Throughout the nation each year, 795,000 strokes will occur at the rate of every 40 seconds. Furthermore, a stroke can affect anyone, at any age, although women and African Americans are at greater risk.

Gwinnett Medical Center – Lawrenceville”s Taylor Choi is a prime example of how a stroke can change a life.

Choi suffered a debilitating stroke in the left side of her brain in 1998. Within minutes, she went from being a healthy, carefree 18-year-old to not being able to perform normal daily routines such as speaking or walking. Although the stroke changed her life, being a stroke survivor has changed her soul.

Now 33, Choi is a patient care technician (PCT) at GMC-Lawrenceville – a hospital recognized by HealthGrades with a Stroke Care Excellence Award for two years in a row and ranked in 2012 among the top five percent in the nation for treatment of stroke. Ironically, Choi”s May graduation from Mercer University is during Stroke Awareness Month.

As a PCT, she is able to empathize with patients on many levels. Choi truly understands the challenges they face in daily living. And, while she has come a long way in her medical journey, Choi continues to overcome personal hurdles as a result of her stroke.

“Because I was in their same position, I can relate to them and provide emotional support, hope and the care that they need,”# says Choi. “I know their frustration and have asked God the same rhetorical questions, over and over. I”m confident God gave me this hardship so I can touch others.”#

Choi shares her story of struggles and accomplishments, using it to encourage and aid others through their rehabilitation process to help them understand that better days are ahead.

Because two million brain cells die every minute during stroke, increasing risk of permanent brain damage, disability or death, learn to recognize symptoms so you may act quickly to get medical attention.