Four years ago Holly and Richard were planning their upcoming camping trip. After dinner, Holly joined her husband in the living room only to find him lying face down on the floor. He had just suffered a massive stroke at the age of 50! Instantly, and without warning, their lives were changed forever.
The events of that night, and the aftermath, are only the beginning of our story.
Three years later on March 21, 2010 Holly’s father passed away. Deeply saddened, her mother Barbara found comfort in helping her daughters, Holly and Kim with the Stroke Association of Florida, a non-profit they founded to help the people of Sarasota and Manatee counties avert this serious, silent and devastating medical crisis through education, awareness and free screenings.
Barbara volunteered at the Association’s May Stroke Awareness Month event which provided presentations and free screenings on the risk factors of stroke. She sat in an audience of 70 others attentively following Dr. Russell Samson’s graphic presentation of arterial blockage and the procedures to correct it.
After the presentation, the lines were especially long for the carotid artery screening. When the technician offered Barbara an opportunity to have her screening done; she declined in order to let someone else have the chance. At the end of the day the technician asked once again and Barbara finally said yes.
The results were unexpected and serious, Barbara’s carotid artery was over 90% blocked. One week later she was operated on to clear the blockage. Only two months after the passing of their father, the family could have lost their mother to the disability of stroke or even death.
Who could have imagined the Stroke Association of Florida’s programs of awareness, education and free screenings would result in their first success story so close to home.