The Kansas man who suffered two strokes had heart disease that put him at risk. (2023)

AKansasa man who had two strokes in his 20s and 30s had oneheart diseaseaffects 25 percent of Americans.

Bill Ramsey, 50, of Wichita, Kansas, was only 28 when he organized his first tournament, although he didn't know what was going on at the time.

Mr. Ramsey woke up the morning after a night out and the next thing he remembered was "wake up and hit the floor." And I had no idea how I got there.

He thought he was having an eclipse. "I was the night before and I thought, 'Wow, I just need to stop partying so hard.' I really thought so,” said Mr. Ramsey.

Although the risk of stroke increases with age, more and moreYoung peoplesuffer because of it. Last year's study found that, for example, Americans between the ages of 18 and 44 had the greatest increases in stroke rates.

Bill Ramsey, pictured with his wife Mary, suffered two strokes at the ages of 28 and 33. She now advocates immediate medical attention and knowledge of symptoms, regardless of age.

Mr. Ramsey of Wichita, Kansas, initially thought he had been partying too hard and passed out. However, an MRA examination later showed that he had suffered two strokes in five years.

For about six months, Mr. Ramsey had had trouble sleeping, but he felt he did not need to see a doctor.

"I was a stubborn young man and I didn't go to the doctor," he said. “I just thought I was having a hard time.

In fact, he was a competitive bodybuilder until the age of 25.

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Five years later, Mr. Ramsey was traveling with his wife when he developed more worrying symptoms. Fireworks went off in my head. I saw a bright white firework and everything turned black.

It does not hurt. There was no sound, no pain. But I knew I was getting ready to pass out, so I just looked at the bed. And indeed, when I woke up, I was in bed. My left side of my body tingled so much that my teeth ached. I remember thinking I wanted to have my teeth pulled because they hurt so much.

Until the age of 25, Fr. Ramsey was a competitive bodybuilder

Mr. Ramsey was also completely blind. He wasn't sure what to do and didn't seek medical help.

"It never occurred to me that it was a stroke," Ramsey said. His vision changed for two days before he went to see a doctor who diagnosed him with a stroke using a magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) scan. An MRA is a type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in which the body's blood vessels are assessed.

The test also revealed his first stroke, which he suffered five years earlier.

According toCenters for Disease Control and Prevention, someone in the US has a stroke every 40 seconds. There are almost 800,000 people there annually. Almost a quarter had previously had a stroke. It is also the fifth leading cause of death in the United States.

ZNational Heart, Lung and Blood Institutelists the most serious risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, smoking, brain aneurysms and inflammation.

Ramsey was also shocked when a battery of tests showed he had a congenital heart defect, patent foramen ovale (PFO), a small hole in the heart between the left and right atria. This set exists in all human fetuses, although it closes after birth in most people.

The condition affects about 25% of adults in the US.American Heart Associationestimates.

Most patients with FOP suffer, according toAHAbut significantly increases the risk of strokes. This is because PFO can cause blood clots that can travel to the brain and cause a stroke.

Mr. Ramsey (pictured with one of his daughters) credited his family for helping him recover from two strokes

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Mr. Ramsey (pictured five years after his second stroke) struggled with memory loss and vision problems in the months following the event.

His son was also born with a hole in his heart, though he is not sure if it is PFO.

After his second stroke, Mr. Ramsey suffered from short-term amnesia. He lost his place in the conversation and forgot what he was saying.

“Last year I went to a high school reunion and some people I've known since I was four just didn't know who they were. It is now, but it took a while,” he said.

Although the risk of strokethickevery 10 years after reaching the age of 55, as many as one in seven people aged 15-49 will experience this event.

A2022 study in the journal Strokefound an 11% increase over the past 15 years in intracerebral and hemorrhagic strokes, also known as ICH strokes.

The largest increase was among Americans aged 18 to 44, with a 38% increase.

"It's really surprising how many people still believe you can't have a stroke if you're under 50," Ramsey said. "Everyone thinks stroke is just for seniors, but it's not."

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Mr. Ramsey has been to six continents and more countries than he can count. He is now planning another cruise. "I'll try everything I can as soon as possible. I'm not waiting, he said

Mr. Ramsey still has the lasting effects of the strokes, including loss of feeling on the left side of his face and black patches in his vision. “I call them acceptable losses. It could have been much worse, he said.

The Cooper Institute report showed a steady increase in stroke hospitalizations among young people

At a younger age, men are more likely to have a stroke than women. However, as women age, they are more at risk because they tend to live longer. ABOUTCDCsuggests that one in five women between the ages of 55 and 75 will have a stroke.

Ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke according toCDC. They occur when the path between the blood vessels and the brain is blocked by fatty deposits called plaques that cause blockages.


A transient ischemic attack (or TIA) involves a temporary lack of blood supply to the brain, causing temporary dizziness, confusion, tingling, and numbness in the arms.

You should call 911 if you suspect you have a TIA.

Symptoms include:

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  • vision changes
  • dysphasia (difficulty speaking)
  • confusion
  • balance problems
  • tingle
  • altered level of consciousness
  • dizziness
  • to faint
  • abnormal taste
  • abnormal sense of smell
  • weakness or numbness on only one side of the body or face, determined by the location of the blood clot in the brain


This happens as a result of cardiovascular disease, when blood vessels narrow or become blocked over time by fatty deposits known as plaque - a process known as atherosclerosis.

A variant of these events are transient ischemic strokes, also known as 'mini-strokes' or 'warning strokes'. They only block blood flow for a short time, usually only five minutes.

While they are short-lived, they serve as warning signs of a future stroke and are considered a medical emergency.

The CDC estimates that more than a third of people who experience these types of events and do not receive treatment will suffer a major stroke within a year. Up to 10 to 15 percent of people will experience a severe stroke within three months. alarm event.

Although it has been 17 years since his last stroke, Mr. Ramsey continues to have lasting health effects. He's lost a lot of feeling in his left side, which also decreases when he's tired.

He also has dark spots in his field of vision that get worse in bright light, so he has to keep his office dark.

“I call them acceptable losses. It could have been a lot worse, Ramsey said.

ZAmerican Heart Associationhas a set of guidelines called F.A.S.T. to detect a stroke. F stands for "droopy face", for example, one side of the patient's face looks numb or his smile looks uneven. A stands for "shoulder weakness" or an arm that drops when a person is upright. S stands for "speech impairment" or slurred speech. T is the time of the 911 call.

“If you get to the hospital quickly, they can reverse a lot of the damage from a stroke. Don't be me and wait two days. If you get there in two hours... you'll be in much better shape. Your damage is greatly reduced,” said Mr. Ramsey.

Now he's focused on getting the most out of life. He has already visited six continents and more countries than he can count, and has no plans to stop traveling anytime soon.

'I live for today. My future is today because I don't know when something can happen again. I figured if you have the means, do it now," Ramsey said. "Don't wait, because he may not be there.

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“I will try everything I can whenever I can. I do not wait.


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