GREENWOOD, Mo. — A stroke can strike at any age. That’s the message one Kansas City-area mom is sharing after her life flashed before her eyes.
Ashley Hammontree was just 30 when she had a stroke. She had given birth eight weeks prior. Hammontree survived.
Now, she’s made it her mission to teach others about heart health and how to think F.A.S.T.
It’s an acronym. If you see Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, then it’s Time to call 911.
“I dropped the mug,” Hammontree said. “My husband handed it to me and I just dropped it and we both were like, that was weird.”
Hot chocolate in 2016 quickly turned into a terrifying moment for the Hammontrees.
Ashley passed out twice and her arm went limp. The new mother to a 2-month-old was having a stroke.
“It could happen to somebody you know,” Hammontree said, “and if my husband hadn’t recognized the signs or symptoms, who knows what would’ve happened.”
He’s an emergency responder and she’s a nurse. At the hospital, she received a clot buster.
“One in four globally will have a stroke after the age of 25,” American Heart and Stroke Association spokesperson DeEtta Lee said.
Stroke is also the fifth leading cause of death in the US and the leading cause of long-term disability, according to Lee.
“Stroke is preventable, it’s also treatable and beatable,” Lee said.
Hammontree said she had a bleeding disorder during pregnancy, but doctors don’t know what caused her stroke.
“It’s still kind of unknown to this point, I just hit my sixth year anniversary in December,” Hammontree said.
She made a near full recover with the help of physical and occupational therapy.
She still has some weakness in her right hand and significant hearing loss.
Hammontree worked her way from not being able to hold her baby on his first Christmas to standing next to her 6-year-old at Kindergarten graduation.
“It’s just this full circle moment that really I don’t really have the words to say because it’s so meaningful,” Hammontree said.
May is American Stroke Month. More information about signs and symptoms of stroke here.