LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Almost all mornings, Annie Beasley volunteers at the Pineywoods Community Academy as a foster grandparent.
"After I had my stroke, I wasn't able to teach, so I decided to take that and use it as a benefit for the kids," Beasley said.
Beasley, 64, had her first stroke in 2004 which she said came as a surprise because she was so energetic, taking trips and enjoying life.
"I was so use to getting up and going, it just really rocked me when I had that first stroke. It was a very severe stroke," Beasley said.
A stroke is where the brain is under attack. Experts say can happen to anyone at any time. The cause can stem from blood flow from an area of brain that has been cut off. As a result brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die.
Although that first stroke caused a lot of distress mentally and physically, she said her lowest moment came when her mother passed away: for the same reason and same time.
"I had to actually leave the hospital and bury her and then go back to the hospital. So that did get to me. That was my lowest point," Beasley said as she sheds tears.
Following the emotionally challenging experience, Beasley said it's a path she hopes to never to travel down again.
"I've had my days. But I keep going. I'm not going to tell it's easy to nobody because it's not," Beasley said. "But you just have to be determined to get over."
After months of turmoil, Beasley starting rebuilding her life. She made several lifestyle changes, but then tragedy struck again when she suffered her second stroke in 2007.
It was after the hurdle of having gone through two strokes, she starting walking at least half an hour daily. She emphasized that nutrition is key replacing foods with high sodium and heavy fats and instead choosing lean dishes.