Brianne Buckmaster didn’t know what was happening to her when she was rushed to Memorial Medical Center in the early morning hours of a January winter.
She knew something was wrong when she tried to get out of bed and promptly fell on the floor. What she didn’t know yet was that she had had a stroke. But she was only 22. And she was 13 or 14 weeks pregnant.
Fortunately for Brianne, her father heard her fall and checked to make sure she was OK. He called 911, and an ambulance was soon whisking her to Memorial Medical Center.
“All I can remember after that was I couldn’t talk and I tried to get up but I fell,” the Springfield mom-to-be recalled. “When I got to the hospital, I don’t remember anything.”
She spent the next two weeks in the hospital. Her mother was with her the entire time and supported her all through her rehab therapy. Brianna had to learn to walk and speak again. Occupational therapy helped her to regain control of her hand; she still has problems with her hand, but it’s getting better.
“My rehabilitation was hard but it was worth it,” Brianne said. “But if you don’t work hard at it, you’re not going to get any better.”
Having a strong support system also helps. If you know someone who has had a stroke, Brianne said, “they will need you more than you think and don’t ever give up on them.”
In addition to her parents, “I had some of the most amazing nurses, doctors and therapists.”
In particular, one nurse at Memorial Medical Center comes to mind.
“I would say my favorite nurse is Bill Lengacher,” Brianne said. “He was there for me whenever I needed him, and he even came up and saw me in my other room.”
Her baby, Joslyn Nicole, is due in July and is healthy.Enjoy LiveWell Online Magazine? Stay up-to-date with a free email subscription!