Fort Smith Mom And Business Owner Shares Stroke Survival Story

FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- A local business owner and mom is sharing her story after surviving several strokes and doctors are educating patients on the risk factors in young adults.

Brook Borrengasser own Ultimutt Dog Care, is a wife and mother of two little girls and at just the age of 34, she's already survived multiple strokes.

"When I was 26, I had two strokes within 12 hours of each other," Borrengasser said. "The first one I had, I felt the explosion in the side of my head; couldn't walk a straight line. The next morning, I got up and had another stroke and so I went to the emergency room and was sent to another doctor."

Those doctors told Brooke it was just a headache, but she knew something was wrong.

"I went back up to the emergency room and they ran a bunch of tests and they did confirm that I did have two strokes," Borrengasser said.

Doctors also found that she had a small hole in her heart. Borrengasser would later have four more episodes and just two weeks ago, she suffered from a grand mal seizure.

Dr. Mohammad Owais is a neurologist at Sparks Hospital and said the number of strokes in people under 50 is increasing.

"The young population, have this idea that 'I'm gonna be protected, I'm not going to have hypertension at 20 or 15 or 25,' which is not true and the risk factors once you are born, you still have all the risk factors."

There's still no clear explanation from doctors as to why Borrengasser had those strokes, but she encourages people to get checked out when they feel something is wrong. She said it saved her life.

"I know my body and I know stuff keeps happening and I know something's not right," Borrengasser said. "My advice is you know your body and if you don't feel like something's right, keep fighting for answers and that's what I'm doing right now."

Borrengasser is passionate about raising awareness for strokes with her business partner, Mary, and The American Heart Association.

Together, they've helped raise more than $200,000 for awareness and research in the River Valley.

An easy way to remember the symptoms of stroke is F.A.S.T., which stands for face, arms, speech and time.

Call 911 immediately if you think someone is having a stroke.

For more information about strokes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, click here.