A WOMAN has shared the bizarre warning symptoms she felt before a devastating stroke that left her unable to walk or speak.
Morgan Bailey was just 22 and working in a school when she started experiencing worrying symptoms – including a nagging headache and what she called numbness on the right side of her body.
Perhaps most bizarrely, for the past few months she has noticed a change in her eyelashes, which appear very straight in her right eye — something that had no medical connection but Bailey thought was a warning sign.
On the day of the stroke, as the headache worsened, she quickly contacted her friend and told her she wasn’t feeling well, before feeling like her “brain exploded.”
It was the last thing she would remember for a month.
Bailey was rushed to the hospital and stayed there in intensive care for seven weeks while she recovered.
When she woke up she was paralyzed on the right side and had to learn to walk, speak and write again.
“My life has completely turned upside down,” Bailey, now 24, told The US Sun.
“My health was perfect before, I never had any problems.
“I had no idea what that was before it happened.
“If you’d asked me, ‘Can someone at 22 have a stroke?’ I would have said, “No way.”
“I had to relearn everything. I had to learn to walk again. I had to learn to speak properly again. I had to relearn how to write with my left hand.
“I can’t use my right hand, so I’m very thankful for the technology and I type with my voice.”
Originally from New Jersey but now based in Arizona, Bailey was diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) at age 18 after falling one day at school and hitting her head.
AVMs are abnormal tangles of blood vessels that can lead to irregular connections between arteries and veins — which often develop in the spinal cord and brain.
In some cases, the blood vessels that form AVMs can rupture and cause a stroke. However, it’s unclear if Bailey’s AVM caused her stroke.
Waking up the next day with paralysis on her right side and struggling to walk properly, she went to the hospital and was later told she had an AVM and had suffered three brain aneurysms.
Bailey said she wasn’t given any medication or treatment and that doctors were “too scared to touch it” because it’s in her thalamus, the part of the brain that primarily helps with consciousness processing and deals with sleep, learning and the formation of memories.
She added, “They told me to go home and live life, and I did that for five years.”
For the next four years, Bailey was able to lead a normal life and rarely worried about her condition—until the day of her stroke.
After the stroke, she underwent brain surgery (craniotomy) that removed 75 percent of the AVM and received intensive physical and speech therapy after the stroke.
However, she’s still paralyzed in her right side – which will be a permanent result of what she’s been through.
Bailey said, “I think I did a phenomenal job mentally.
“More than half of the people who have a traumatic brain injury suffer from depression, anxiety or stress, but I was very positive.
“Of course there were days when I was sad, but the next day I was positive. I just had to get out of my panic.”
But for the young woman, life will never be the same again.
She said: “My life has completely turned upside down.
“I don’t want to do anything now that I planned to do with my degree.
“I know I want to help people – people who are in a difficult situation, who have had a stroke, who have AVM and more.
“I go hiking outside, volunteer at the Sedona Heritage Museum, do yoga and more.
“I’m glad my life changed after the stroke.
“Life is much easier now.
“It’s not all this hustle and bustle, this go-go-go that I was chasing.”
In the future, she hopes to start her own nonprofit organization to help people with AVM.
Bailey added, “People can come and relax, participate in meditation sessions, and indulge in healing treatments.
“I think it will be extraordinary.”
But for now, she has a message for everyone — whether they have health conditions or not.
She said, “We have to live life, and live it to the fullest.”
“You never know when someone you love dies, when you break up with your boyfriend, when your dog dies…
“The moral of the story is that you have to live life like nobody’s looking.”