Sydney Priest’s Survivor Story
It was noon when 25-year-old Sydney Priest came home after a full morning of classes. She was not only a med student but also her class president at A.T. Still University—Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Not long after eating lunch, she began to feel ill. She was dizzy and started throwing up. Sydney thought she would be okay, but in a short amount of time, she lost her arm strength and could no longer enter in the password to unlock her iPhone. It was then that Sydney knew she was in real danger.
Both Sydney’s mom and boyfriend sent friends over to her house to check on her because she wasn’t responding to their text messages.
“I was home alone and I always lock the door to the house, but for some reason, on this particular day I didn’t. Therefore, my friends were able to come in, find me, and call 911,” Sydney remembers. “My dog was really quiet when my friends entered the house, which was out of character for him. He’s always very friendly towards them, so I think he knew something was wrong, too.”
Sydney didn’t know she was suffering a stroke at the time. In fact, she was studying to be a pediatric cardiologist and the lecture on stroke was scheduled to take place two days after her life-changing event.
Sydney was life-flighted to a hospital 90 miles from her college. Later, she underwent extensive rehab for six months, to re-learn to walk, talk, and eat. Communicating was initially hard. Without the ability to speak, her family and friends would ask her questions and she’d respond by blinking once for yes and twice for no.
The cause of Sydney’s stroke is still not determined. Today, Sydney has made a complete recovery and recently headed back to school at A.T. Still University in Kirksville. Not only is she walking, but she’s running and completed a 2-mile race in October. She also enjoys wakeboarding and is hoping to get back to doing that this summer. Because of her stroke, Sydney now dreams of going into rehab medicine.
Korinne Armour’s Survivor Story
As a child, Korinne Armour fainted frequently when she stood. Doctors considered her malnourished, despite her very hearty appetite. As she got older, the symptoms got worse. After numerous doctor visits and a series of specialists, doctors determined that Korinne’s heart was frequently stopping for a considerable amount of time and she would need a pacemaker.
Today, Korinne is on her second pacemaker and is an active mother of three (ages 12, 7 and 5). She enjoys cycling, baking, and volunteering for various groups including her church, PTA, Girl Scouts and the American Heart Association. Korinne knows the importance of taking care of her body and strives to be a good example for her family.
“It’s imperative that I take care of my body with a diet full of fresh, unprocessed foods, lean meat, lots of water (she drinks 100oz daily) and exercise,” says Korinne.
“I’m really busy with my family so we incorporate family time into meal prep and exercise. I feel like I’ve set a good example for my kids because being healthy isn’t something we have to do but something that can be fun when we do it together.”
As a Go Red For Women ambassador and advocate for women’s heart health, Korinne’s advice is to “Love your body, trust your gut, and see your doctor to secure a longer life for you and your family.”
About Go Red For Women
Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association’s national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women. Cardiovascular diseases in the U.S. kill approximately one woman every 80 seconds. The good news is that 80 percent of cardiac events may be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. Go Red For Women advocates for more research and swifter action for women’s heart health. The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement is nationally sponsored by Macy’s, with additional support from our cause supporters. For more information, please visit GoRedForWomen.org or call 1-888-MY-HEART (1-888-694-3278). To contact the local Kansas City office, please call 913-652-1913.