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Faces of Stroke Ambassador: Ruth

Ruth Wolfe, 51, is a motivated wife and mother. Like many others, she keeps busy with her job, family, coaching and running a youth sports league. But unexpectedly at the age of 49, her life was interrupted by a stroke.

Ruth is a healthcare professional and her work and training helped her recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke when she experienced one herself. Her stroke happened in the parking lot of a grocery store while she was talking on the phone with her husband. She dropped her phone and realized that she could not pick it up. Her husband recognized that she also had garbled speech and he rushed to her aid.

Ruth was taken to a stroke center hospital—the same one where she worked—and quickly received the necessary treatment. Her recovery began immediately after. Her initial struggles included speech, cognitive thinking and memory. She had trouble with the simple tasks of everyday life. She began with learning the alphabet, reading books, printing and writing her name. She never gave up and pushed herself every day. Ruth returned to work 11 months after her stroke.

Today Ruth is back to her busy life, but makes sure to slow down more often. The experience made her realize how precious life is and that one should enjoy it every day. Telling her story helps her healing process. She wants to help others understand that stroke can happen to anyone. But mostly, she wants everyone to know the signs and symptoms of a stroke and the importance of getting immediate medical help.

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