MIAMI (CBSMiami) – May is stroke awareness month and one local hospital wants to make sure you know the warning signs to protect yourself and your loved ones.

CBS4 reporter Nicole Lauren has the story of one woman whose life got turned upside down after a stroke.

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Leticia Mejia had no health issues in the past.

One day, while exercising, she suddenly collapsed.

That’s when she was rushed to the hospital and was told she suffered a stroke.

On Friday, the 38-year-old is sharing her story and a warning for others.

“Were going home!”

Mejia has a long road ahead of her, but on this day, she wass being released from Broward Health North after suffering a stroke.

Something she says was one of the scariest moments of her life.

“He called 911 for me and he saved my life and he’s my hero,” said Mejia.

Mejia tearfully described the moments she collapsed on the ground.

She is a woman with no previous medical issues and is now struggling to communicate and move but thankfully, her son is there to help.

“I see my son struggling to help me…”

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Broward Health North said everyone needs to know the warning signs of a stroke.

“One of the biggest indicators includes sudden weakness on one side of the body,” Broward Health North Dr. Ariel Inocentes said.

“They become paralyzed on one side of the body and a lot of times it affects their cognition as well. They’re not able to remember their family members, they have problems speaking.”

“They have to take care of themselves and be aware of the symptoms of a stroke because it’s not a joke. It’s very serious you can die from it and there’s a lot of suffering that comes with it,” said Mejia.

And Mejia is right, this can be deadly.

Dr. Inocentes explaining there are two types of stroke.

“If it’s a big stroke or a hemorrhagic stroke people could lose their lives.”

While still grasping her new reality, Mejia is excited to get back to some normalcy.
That includes her home and her children.

“Give my kids a hug and be in my environment in my house. I haven’t been in my house in two weeks there’s nothing normal about that.”

“It’s always better to call 911 and go to the emergency room so you’ll be treated getting the new drugs and the new treatment as soon as possible,” adds Mejia.

Mejia is a great example that strokes can occur at any age, but you’re at greater risk if you are 65 and older.

According to the CDC — each year over 795 thousand people suffer a stroke.

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And it is the leading cause of serious long-term disability.

CBSMiami.com Team