Feb. 13, 2018, is a day that Felix Quintero will not soon forget. It was
the day he had a stroke at age 36. “I was scared, confused and everything
else,” said Felix, whose life erupted in chaos shortly after 4 a.m.
when he woke up, took a step to get ready for work and fell. “My
whole left side was numb. I had no strength, and I couldn’t move.
My wife tried to pick me up, but she couldn’t get me back on the
bed. I knew right away it was something bad,” Felix said.
Felix will never forget the sights and sounds from that day. The fire alarm
was blaring – his wife Mayra had set it off to help paramedics find their
new house, which was not on Google Maps yet. The piercing sound woke Felix’s
9-year-old son Ryan, who ran into the master bedroom and found his stepfather
lying helpless on the floor. Felix watched the panic spread across the
faces of his wife and son. “I went from feeling fine one day to
having my body go unresponsive the next,” he said. While it may
seem unusual that someone so young would have a stroke, they can occur
at any age. A recent study in JAMA Neurology, a monthly medical journal
published by the American Medical Association, found that hospitalization
rates for the most common type of stroke, where a clot blocks blood from
flowing to the brain, are increasing for both men and women under age 45.