“With greatest battle also comes greatest victory” became my mantra after my massive stroke on March 25, 2014.
I’m Liza Pearl, 30 years old, and a registered nurse in the Philippines and Bahamas.
At 28 years old, I suffered from a hemorrhagic stroke caused by a blood clot completely blocking my right internal carotid artery. Not only did it leave the left side of my body paralyzed, but it completely devastated my life.
The day prior to the attack, I complained of neck pain and an on/off headache. The night before the stroke, I felt cold so I stood up to turn off the electric fan. Right after standing up, I collapsed and felt numbness on the whole left side of my body, and at the same time my speech slurred. I was conscious when my brother and mom brought me to the nearest hospital, which was 15 minutes away from where we lived. At the emergency room, the nurses and doctors took a series of exams, but the health care system and service wasn’t really that good.
Stroke management was not implemented right away. So my boyfriend’s family decided they needed to transfer me to a better hospital asap. Less than 24 hrs after my stroke, I was transferred to a bigger hospital in a different city via an ambulance. All through I was pretty conscious, but I didn’t really know what my final diagnosis was. From there, they gave me NGT (nasogastric tubing) and a series of CT scans.
Inside the ICU, the thought running in my mind was “Am I really going to die?”. Because at that point, I knew I’d had a stroke and still had terrible pain in my neck and head due to swelling. Initially, the doctors thought they needed to open up my head, but I responded well to most of the medicines, so they decided they
no longer needed the operation.
I have been a nurse for 8 years; I lost my job and at Christmas in the same year, I lost my mom due to cancer.
2015 was the worst year for me and I suffered from major depression.
This year 2016 is a new era; I realized that before I tended not to be thankful for each new day. But now, I am grateful for being able to get up each morning and try to move forward after everything that has happened.
It is a steep climb, but I am going to work hard and reach that top.
Because in the end, I am not going to cry because of what I lost, I am going to smile because of what I learned through it all.