Last month was Stroke Awareness month and this year, Mountaintop can celebrate one of its own: A parent, teacher, and stroke survivor.
Megan Mitchell’s daughter was only two weeks old this time last year when she experienced severe dizziness after getting out of the shower. It was an ordinary May morning –her husband was getting ready for work, her son was playing with her mother-in-law outside, and she had just put the baby down for a nap. She twisted her hair in a towel after getting out of the shower, moved to the sink to brush her teeth, and immediately, the room was spinning. At first, she tried to work through it, but despite resting for a few minutes, the sensation got worse and Megan was able to tell her husband Tom just before collapsing, that she thought she was having a stroke –a revelation that even she does not know how she knew. She was rushed to the ER at Geisinger Wyoming Valley where a team of specialists were waiting. Thus began Megan Mitchell’s long, uncertain journey of the past year.
Statistics show that 30-40 percent of stroke patients with an arterial dissection, such as what is suspected to have happened in Megan, do not survive. The quick diagnosis from the medical staff, due in large part to what Megan was able to convey before losing consciousness, may have not only saved her life, but also allowed her the extent of the recovery she has so far experienced. After being Life-Flighted to Geisinger, Danville, Megan spent two weeks in the ICU on life support; medically sedated and in terrible pain.
The curious thing about a stroke is that it can completely cease function in one part of the brain, while allowing other functions to continue normally. Despite her condition in the ICU, Megan was very aware of
what was happening and could still