Despite having had two strokes, Brenda McKeever lives a fulfilling life, to which she credits a positive disposition, careful planning of activities and the help of a caregiver.

 

Her first stroke came several years ago, while she was home alone.

 

“When it happened, I did not know what was wrong … I just felt strange,” she said. She walked across the street to a neighbor’s house, and the neighbor rushed her to the hospital. (The American Heart Association recommends calling 911 in a medical emergency to receive immediate treatment.)

 

At the hospital, Brenda realized she couldn’t talk. She would later learn that speech difficulty is the “S” in the F.A.S.T. warning signs of a stroke. Others include “F” for face drooping, “A” for arm weakness and “T“ for time to call 911.

 

She eventually recovered, though a second stroke impaired her ability to walk. She now uses a cane.

 

“I keep myself going by starting my day with my routines and making sure I have everything that I need handy,” she says. “I am able to remain living at home with the help of a caregiver and by carefully planning my activities.”

 

Brenda reads to keep her mind active. She also enjoys regular outings with family and friends.

 

“I want people to know that while having a stroke can be scary,” she said. “However, it is possible to remain active and to continue doing the things you like despite the challenges.”

 

The American Heart Association
The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, will conduct its 2023 Central Arkansas Go Red for Women Luncheon in May with the theme “Be the Beat.”

The signature luncheon – chaired by Dr. Anthony M. Fletcher, FAHA, an interventional cardiologist with CHI St. Vincent Cardiology and Medicine Clinic, and his wife, Dr. Paula Fletcher, a retired dentist who currently serves as health director at Shorter College – is scheduled for May 10 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Benton Event Center. Go Red for Women is designed to increase women’s heart health awareness and serve as a catalyst for change to improve the lives of women locally, nationally and globally.

Go Red for Women is nationally sponsored by CVS Health and is presented locally by platform sponsor Saline Health System. Media sponsors include B98.5 and AY About You Magazine/Arkansas Money & Politics.

Tickets for Go Red for Women are $250 and can be purchased at CentralArGoRed.heart.org or by emailing Carmen.Parks@heart.org.