ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — Briena Grant was 24 years old and 24 weeks pregnant when she had a stroke.
“I felt like I was having a migraine,” she said.
Grant doesn’t remember much but said she woke up on the bathroom floor with a droopy face, unable to move her left side.
Somehow, she was able to call her friend for help. She was airlifted from her hometown of Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Swedish Medical Center in Englewood.
“All I kept asking was, is my baby boy OK? Is he OK? Then I would go in and out of consciousness,” she said.
Stroke risk increases during pregnancy
Grant had a blood clot on the right side of her brain and doctors were able to open the artery quickly.
“What we do is we snake a very small hollow tube up from the artery in the groin up into the brain and basically suck the clot out,” said Dr. Richard Bellon, a neurointerventional surgeon at Swedish Medical Center.
Bellon said it is not common for a 24-year-old to have a stroke, but he said pregnant women do have an increased risk.
“Their blood is thick, and it tends to clot more easily, so they are more at risk,” Bellon said.
Grant was able to get help quickly and continue on with her pregnancy. She went through rehab and baby Barrett was born three months later.
What are the signs of a stroke?
Now she wants other people to know the signs of stroke. Look for changes to balance, eyesight, face weakness, arm weakness and speech difficulty. Then know the time the symptoms started.
Grant said she is getting much better. She can walk and use the left side of her body.
“My face isn’t as droopy,” she said.
Now she has this message for others: “If you feel anything is off, go to the doctor.”