Woman says birth control caused stroke at young age, helps raise awareness for others

BIDDEFORD, ME (WMTW/CNN) - On average in the U.S. a person has a stroke every 40 seconds.

Amy Bergeron had a stroke at the age of 19. She says it can happen to any young woman.

And while the majority of stroke incidents happen in people over the age of 65, it can happen to anyone at any age, even a young adult.

Amy Bergeron had a stroke at the age of 19.

"It is like 0.001% of the population could have a stroke, and I just got lucky," Bergeron said.

Bergeron now 25, had a stroke six years ago while in college.

"I was a sophomore," she said. "Woke up with my arm asleep, and I couldn't talk, and I really didn't think anything of it."

She said she then got up, went to the bathroom, and noticed her face was drooping.

Bergeron blew it off thinking she just, slept funny. Luckily she decided to text a friend who recognized the signs of stroke.

The friend told her to go straight to the university health center, where they in turn sent her to the hospital.

"Unfortunately, because I woke up with it, they don't know if I had it when I went to sleep, or when I woke up from my sleep," Bergeron said. "They had no idea of the timeline, so they couldn't give me a clot buster. The neurologist came in and asked me 100 questions, and they kept asking me 'do you do drugs? Do you drink excessively? Did you do something traumatic last night? Did you fall out of bed?'"

The answer to all of those questions? No.

Bergeron said her doctors eventually ruled that her stroke was likely caused by birth control pills.

Fortunately for her, she was young and relatively healthy, so her recovery was quick.

"So I had the stroke on a Thursday. I went back to class that Monday," she said. "Thankfully I got my speech and function back from my arm back pretty quickly. I did have two months of speech therapy."

She proved that when it comes to a stroke, time is truly of the essence.

"The faster you get help, the better your recovery will be," she said.

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