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KC-area woman travels to Northern Ireland to raise money during Stroke Awareness Month

Local woman travels to Ireland to raise money during Stroke Awareness Month
Posted at 6:34 AM, May 02, 2024

MISSION, Kan. — When Angie Read had a stroke at the age of 46, she lost all her confidence. Today, she works to help other stroke survivors feel their best through recovery.

Read has traveled to Belfast, Northern Ireland, to participate in a fire walk for stroke awareness, where she will walk across hot coals.

Read’s stroke had significant warning signs. She said she couldn’t get out of bed because her left side was numb and woke up her husband to help. He noticed her face was drooping and that is when he called 911.

Read went through two months of physical, occupational and speech therapy to regain her skills. She said she is luckier than a lot of survivors to have this type of recovery, but it came at a cost.

"You lose a lot of confidence and I lost my confidence, it plummeted to zero. I never knew I'd be able to work again. I thought my brain was completely damaged and I was just going to be done and be on disability for the rest of my life. But everybody who has a stroke has a different experience. No two strokes are alike,” Read said.

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Today, she works as a life coach to other survivors and is a published author, writing about her own lessons of recovery when it comes to mental health. Read also works part-time for the American Stroke Foundation, the organization she is raising money for at the fire walk. She has a goal of $5,000.

"I've learned that I'm more resilient than ever, that I can overcome pretty much any challenge that comes my way. There were days when I didn't think I could. But I just believed in myself and I did it. And I'm going to do this fire walk and I'm so excited,” Read said.

Know the signs of stroke, according to the National Institute on Aging.

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg — especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden problems seeing in one eye or both eyes
  • Sudden dizziness, loss of balance or coordination or trouble walking
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Call 911 right away if you or someone you know experiences any of those symptoms.