Senate Bill 330 Focuses On Stroke Victims - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

11/04/05 - Lufkin

Senate Bill 330 Focuses On Stroke Victims

by Ramonica R. Jones

When you think of stroke victims, you probably think of someone who's overweight or elderly. Shirley DeBell was neither when she had a stroke. In fact, she was just 21 years old.

DeBell said, "Strokes don't have any age or parameters. It can happen to anyone anywhere."

A registered nurse, DeBell is one of the lucky ones. After her stroke, she had to go through physical and speech therapy, but unlike many other stroke victims, she has no residual effects.

"I'm really lucky, because a lot of times, the problems with strokes is the rehab problems takes longer and it's also costly."

It's been 31 years since Debell had her stroke. Her life has changed for the better. She exercises, eats healthy, gets regular checkups, and stopped smoking. But she still has problems with her speech.

"Know the signs, symptoms of a stroke. They are slurred speech, weakness on one side, sudden headaches that are severe or confusion."

She recently testified before a group of senators in Austin about the Texas Stroke Act, letting lawmakers know the impact strokes can have on victims and their families.

There are many risk factors that increase the chances of having a stroke. Among them are drug use, high blood pressure, and physical inactivity.

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