2002 Ap 01 Release.
For Immediate Release.
Bonnie Arkus 609-771-9600
Trenton, NJ - Each day the average heart beats (expands and contracts) 100,000 times and pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) can result in an interruption of blood flow that can contribute to heart attack or stroke. Over 40 percent of all female deaths in America occur from cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke.
The death rate from CVD is substantially higher in black women than in white women and uncontrolled high blood pressure in African Americans is a major contributor. This is the story of one courageous African American woman who knows what it is like to suffer a stroke with paralysis, and how to recover. Meet Mrs. New Jersey 2002 Cynthia Ann Stephans, stroke survivor and spokeswoman for the Women's Heart Foundation's Stroke Awareness Campaign. Here is her story.
"Two years ago when I was five months pregnant with my fourth child, I developed high pressure and suffered a debilitating stroke. I couldn't talk, I couldn't walk and I was completely paralyzed on the right side of my body. I was hospitalized for five days and transferred to a rehabilitation center where I had to learn how to change a baby diaper and bath a baby with one hand. I had to practice carrying a baby using a life-like doll. The doctors had approached my husband about placing me in a nursing home, but I was determined to regain function and soon, I was doing exercises to strengthen my hand and arms. I progressed to walking just three days after being discharged home and by the seventh day, I had regained my speech.
"I am blessed. I have a healthy son and I have regained most of the use of my right side. I can once again take care of my family. For Stroke Awareness Month, I want to share with you my message for stroke survival:
"Good health is waiting for you. Just think...if you are lucky, you may even wind up becoming a beauty queen -- in spite of life's challenges."
©1999-2000; updates: 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007 Women's Heart Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited. The information contained in this Women's Heart Foundation (WHF) Web site is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment, and WHF recommends consultation with your doctor or health care professional.