Stroke Survivor at 34

Mike Oren was a typical 34-year-old man. He went to work, spent time with friends and enjoyed life to the fullest. He had borderline high blood pressure, but he paid little attention to it.

“I knew my blood pressure was high, but I only did the minimum to keep it under control,” says Mike. “Had I known then what I know now, I would have done the maximum.”

In the middle of a night in 2007, Mike awoke abruptly. He felt odd and he knew something was wrong.

“The room was spinning, and I couldn’t keep my balance,” says Mike. “Within moments, I was on the ground. That was it.”

When Mike got to the hospital, he learned that he had suffered two major strokes. His blood pressure was 210/110, his speech was extremely slurred and the right side of his body was very weak. He was in for a long recovery, and his life would never be the same.

“I remember thinking, ‘I’m only 34 and I just had a couple of strokes,’ ” says Mike. “I just can’t believe it.”

After he was stabilized, Mike began the long road to recovery. His journey began at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital-Allentown, where physical, speech and occupational therapists helped Mike relearn how to talk, walk and perform the daily tasks that he used to take for granted.

Following his time in the inpatient rehabilitation hospital, Mike continued his rehabilitation on an outpatient basis at the Good Shepherd Health & Technology Center in Allentown.

Today, Mike once again is walking and talking normally. He’s eating healthier and keeping an eye on his blood pressure, and he’s back to his job as a machine operator.

“In some ways, I’m lucky,” says Mike. “If I was older, it would have been much harder to get my speech and function completely back.

“I just hope everyone realizes that even younger people can have strokes. It’s very important to understand your health and take care of yourself. Sometimes stroke can sneak up on you. That’s why they call it the silent killer.”

For more information on Good Shepherd's programs and services, call 1-888-44-REHAB (73422) or contact us.