About 800,000 people suffer from a stroke in the United States each year. A stroke is a common occurrence, but most people do not know how to look out for the signs. One Wisconsin mom is grateful that her 14-year-old daughter paid attention in science class.
Katie Murphy may have saved her mother’s life thanks to a recent science lesson on recognizing the symptoms of a stroke. 45-year-old Christa Murphy noticed that her day had become a little more difficult but did not think anything of it. Christa went to her daughter for help when she struggled to put toothpaste on her toothbrush. When Christa began displaying difficulty with her speech, Katie immediately recognized the red flag.
Two days earlier, Katie became interested in strokes after learning how speech can become affected. She told WISN, “I thought it was kind of cool and weird that people’s speech got mixed up.”
Katie called 911 and rushed her mom to the emergency room. Doctors confirmed that Christa had had a stroke, which surprised her. “I could not believe at the age of 45 that that was happening,” she said.
Beth Tomlin, Katie’s teacher, thinks this was fate. Tomlin initially expected to skip over the stroke lesson. With only a few minutes left in class, she decided the information could be valuable to her students – a premonition which came true – and told a story of her friend’s stroke and how she caught it early. She explained how her face dropped, how hard it was to understand her, and how her lips did not make sense. Also, Katie was supposed to be at a friend’s house for a sleepover but didn’t go, allowing her to be home and see the signs.
Doctors are still not sure what triggered Christa’s stroke but have put her on a treatment regimen to prevent future strokes. She feels blessed to be alright.