An Oklahoma mom shared her story of resiliency and redemption after suffering a stroke at 41 years old.
“We worked at our high school football game the night before, and I was totally fine,” said Jana Phelps.
Nine hours later, she collapsed in her kitchen, unable to move. “I remember pouring my coffee, and that’s the last thing I remember,” said Phelps.
Her husband, Lance Phelps, said it was frightening to walk in and see his wife on the ground. “I thought maybe she fell and hit her head,” Lance said.
“I thought I fell. I kept saying, ‘I fell, I fell.’ Finally, I realized I couldn’t use my left side,” said Jana.
Jana, a mom of three boys, was rushed to the hospital. She arrived at OU Medical Center, and within two hours, she regained full mobility.
“All these strokes are essentially about time. If we can get it done quickly, it leads to the best outcome,” said Dr. Andrew Bauer, an assistant professor of neurosurgery at OU Health.
Doctors discovered her stroke was caused by a hole in her heart, something she had no idea she had.
“They say 20% of people are born with it, and it doesn’t affect most people,” said Jana.
Eight months later, she only has minor side effects. Her heart has been repaired, and now, she hopes her story inspires others, young and old, to recognize the symptoms of the stroke.
“Maybe you can’t move your arm. Your arm is weak. You have sort of numbness. Typically, it’s focal. It doesn’t affect both sides of the body at the same time. Your speech can be off. Really anything where you’re saying, ‘Man, something is wrong with my brain.’ That would be a key to seek treatment,” said Bauer.