OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — An orange Popsicle is just a sweet treat to most, but for one couple, it means so much more; it represents hope during difficult times.
Amy Wooddell knew immediately something was wrong.
“I was dizzy, I was nauseous, I was just tired,” she recalled.
Doctors initially diagnosed the newlywed with vertigo and sent her home. But 12 hours later, the unthinkable happened. At just 24 years old, she had a stroke.
“Initially, they didn’t even think I was going to live through the first night,” she said. “So it was a pretty grim prognosis for me.”
Amy spent a month in the intensive care unit, unsure of her future. Doctors prepared her family for the worst and said she might never move again.
But with her new husband, Jonny, by her side, she began to beat the odds. First, she began moving her pinky finger and eventually began trying to talk again.
“She said, ‘I love you. Orange Popsicle,’” Jonny remembered. “And she kept saying that, ‘Orange Popsicle, orange Popsicle,’ all through rehab, ‘I want an orange Popsicle.’”
Amy’s Popsicle craving was a silver lining in an otherwise very dark time. It was a symbol of her progress and is now one of support.
The couple launched National Orange Popsicle Week a few years ago to raise money and awareness for other young stroke survivors and their families. They want people to know strokes can affect anyone, young and old.
Their dedication to their cause is clear, and their message is one of hope.
“Take a few moments to be sad for the past and what you can’t do,” Amy said. “But also look forward into the future into what you can do now and maybe it’s going to be different and harder, but there’s always kind of a bright side.”
To learn more about the warning signs, prevention and treatment of a stroke, click here.
To learn more about National Orange Popsicle Week, click here.