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Larry Hodges, age 45 and in the best shape of his adult life, was sure he was having a stroke. story by Angelique Gammon, photos by Marci Greenbaum, Specialties Photography
It was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Not unusually, Larry was at his desk at Copy Corner early. Dressed in sweats, his plan was to finish at his office for the morning and head to the gym for a workout before showering and getting dressed for an evening engagement.
Gym time figured large in Larry’s routine. About five years before he’d had one of those age-related reappraisals and come to the conclusion that the years between 30 and 40 had been too fast: too fast food; too fast and furious entrepreneurial lifestyle; too fast on his way to being heavier than he’d ever been in his life.
So he changed gears, started working out and eating better and dropped the excess weight.
Thinking back on that morning Larry says he felt great, even better than when he was 15 years younger. Life was good.
“I was about ready to go work out. Then I felt lightheaded,” Larry recalls, “but I’d had that before.” He wasn’t really worried, thinking maybe it was leftover from a winter cold. “I didn’t feel bad really,” he explains, “just odd.”
Then his left foot went numb.
Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of their face droop
Arm: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech: Ask the person to say, "The sky is blue." Does their speech sound slurred or strange?
Time: Time is IMPORTANT. Stroke is an EMERGENCY!
TOP 5 SYMPTOMS OF A STROKE
1. Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg (especially on one side of the body)
2. Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
3. Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
4. Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
5. Sudden severe headache with no known cause
If you experience any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately.
On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, dies of stroke every four minutes and 795,000 people will suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year in the U.S.
What is a stroke?
A stroke is what happens when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. Brain cells in the immediate area begin to die because of a lack of oxygen. The two most common types of strokes are ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke.
The more common ischemic stroke is caused by blockage in a blood vessel leading to the brain, either fatty deposits from the walls of arteries or blood clots that travel to brain.
A hemorrhagic stroke is when a blood vessel in the brain bursts destroying the brain tissue around it. Hemorrhagic stokes are more common in patients with high blood pressure or an aneurysm, a weakness in the wall of a blood vessel.
Celebrate our natural and cultural environments during the 17th annual Brazos Valley Earth Day celebration at College Station’s Wolf Pen Creek April 21 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Educational booths will include rainwater harvesting, backyard composting, green lawn care techniques and alternative transportation. The Kid’s Zone will include an inflatable bounce and obstacle course and environmental story times.
Band Vocal Trash will perform from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., making “music in harmony with the environment by fusing world class singing, industrial style drumming, award winning break-dancing and comedy antics into a unique and uplifting experience.”
The freshman class at KOR Education School is having a Huggyz 4 Hope diaper drive to support the Hope Pregnancy Center. The kickoff for the drive begins April 12 and will continue until April 21. They have set an impressive and challenging goal of collecting at least 70,000 diapers to verify Hope Pregnancy’s mission.
The project is part of KOR’s class service initiative. The children considered a number of community service projects but have chosen Hope Pregnancy because of the organizations dedication to assist couples and individuals during crisis pregnancies.
April 12 will kick-off the first day of drop-off donations at KOR from 12:30-1:30pm at Parkway Baptist Church. A celebration at the Hope Pregnancy Center will conclude the event on April 21. The event will feature music, food and the total amount of diapers collected will be announced at 8pm. The event is come and go from 4-8pm.
Denise Fries has a history of giving back to this community in a big way. On the 20th anniversary of her business, Fries Financial Services, she donated $20,000 and a sports car to a matching grant program that ended up generating more than $160,000 for 17 local charities. In celebration of her 50th Birthday later this year, Fries plans to top those results with a $50,000 matching grant that will be carried out in conjunction with the Community Foundation of the Brazos Valley. This time, however, Fries’ gift will keep on giving forever because her funds will be placed into endowment funds for the recipient organizations, generating grant funding each and every year into the future.
To take part in the matching grant program, any charitable organization in the community can apply for one of 15 matching grants, ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 before April 13. The organizations that are selected will plan and carry out their own fundraisers to generate money equal to or greater than their grant. This way at least $100,000 will be generated to support the organizations.
A free seminar on April 10 will provide help and resources to families of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Stress and grief, seeking and applying for resources and/or aid, navigating the special education system, insurance, therapeutic treatments, social isolation, transition and future planning are just a few of the challenges these families face.
The Texas Autism Collaborative (TAC) and Easter Seals East Texas/Brazos Valley Rehabilitation Center have partnered with FACETS (Families of Autistic Children Engaged Together for Support), Bryan ISD, College Station ISD, Texas A&M University and the Brazos Valley Center for Independent Living to produce “Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Family’s Journey.” The free seminar will be held April 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the Brazos Valley Rehabilitation Center, 1318 Memorial Drive in Bryan. Childcare will be provided by Project Sunshine; attendees must RSVP to reserve a place for their child(ren) by emailing Rose Mason at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (979) 776-2872.
Texas Autism Collaborative (TAC) is a team of professionals, including a licensed psychologist with LSSP credentials and advanced doctoral students, that provides comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, autism diagnostic evaluation and screening. TAC also offers intensive early childhood intervention clinics during the year for children ages 2-5 diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
For more information about the Texas Autism Collaborative and the services offered, visit http://txautism.tamu.edu/
Child abuse is a scourge in any community. During Child Abuse Prevention month in April, a coalition of agencies will be drawing attention to the sad facts: last year, 688 Brazos Valley children were confirmed victims of abuse or neglect; 117 children were removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect; and two children died as a result of abuse or neglect, according to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services 2011 Databook. From a broader perspective, every eight minutes a Texas child becomes an abuse victim and one child will die every 36 hours because of abuse or neglect.
Kate Mason, who serves as the recruitment and education coordinator for Voices For Children – Court Appointed Special Advocates of Brazos Valley, along with other local agencies, have developed a child abuse awareness alliance in the hope of increasing awareness and leading our community to a safer and healthier place for children.
The Woman’s Club will host its annual House and Garden tour on Wednesday, April 11, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The House and Garden Tour is the major fundraiser for The Woman’s Club of Bryan and profits are used to provide outreach to local charities.
Tickets for touring all three houses are $15 and can be purchased from a member of The Woman’s Club; at one of the homes on April 11; or by calling (979) 822-5019 Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.
Reservations for a luncheon on the day of the tour at The Woman’s Club, 1200 Carter Creek Parkway, Bryan, are required by April 4.