Stroke survivor Saj

“I didn’t know I was having a stroke.”

My story by Saj Eswarakumar

At the time, I didn’t know I was having a stroke. I wasn’t familiar with the details of what a stroke was. After doing a header at a soccer game, I was with some friends at a board games night two hours later. It was my turn while playing Taboo and suddenly, I felt a weakness in my left leg. I sat down shortly after. Something didn’t feel right. After attempting to call my family, my left hand went weak and I dropped my phone. My friends freaked out when they noticed my face drooping. My friend called 9-1-1, but I passed out on the way to the hospital from the pain I was in. I had to go through a decompression craniotomy to relieve the pressure that was building up in my head. My left side was paralyzed.   

Today, I function with only one hand and walking isn’t completely second nature to me. I have also lost vision in my left eye. I still require some assistance when getting dressed, like buttoning up shirts or tying my laces – I’d consider myself 75% recovered. Second chances do not come often, I’m working to be physically better than what I would have been before my stroke.