#17STRONG- Hannah's Stroke Recovery

Monday, April 8th started out as a normal day for my 18 year old daughter, Hannah. She was in Gym class at school and because it was the first warm day of Spring, her teacher took them for a walk by the lake. Out of the blue, she felt her entire left side go numb and she lost all peripheral vision. She got worried, so she told her teacher and he helped her up the cliff where the paramedics were waiting for her. She was taken to St. Luke's South Shore where she was seen- had a CT scan without contrast and diagnosed with paresthesia and dehydration and released.  We were told she was "too young" to have a stroke, so she wasn't even checked for one even though she presented every symptom.

After being released I noticed she was not getting any better, so we took her to St. Luke's Main Campus. While in the ER she had a CT with contrast and it found that she had a stroke. She was immediately taken seriously and the hospital began many, many tests. After being admitted to the Stroke Floor, the wonderful Stroke Team started delivering the results to us.

She actually had 2 strokes- The bigger one was on the right side of her brain.  We also found out the hole in heart that was supposed to close after birth didn't close all the way, which usually isn't a problem for the 25% of the population that also has this issue. But because a clot formed, they think this is the path it took to her brain. She was tested for all kind of blood disorders and they all came back negative. She was a VERY active, healthy 18 year old and they could not figure out any reason for her to  have had the strokes. 

As of today, the diagnosis for the strokes was the Estrogen in Hannah's birth control pill caused the clot- She had only been taking it for 1.5 months. It's crazy to think that something so small caused so much damage. Hannah is getting stronger day by day, but she's still waiting for the swelling in her brain to go down to hopefully regain her peripheral vision. We are very hopeful for a great recovery, but we've been told to take it hour by hour, then day by day. She's been in the hospital almost a week now and will hopefully be moving to Inpatient Rehab Unit tomorrow.  We don't know how long they will keep her there.

Because Hannah turned 18 this year, all these medical bills she's accumulating during her hospital stay are going to be coming in her name, as insurance will not cover 100% of her debt. (Deductible & out of network) We will be helping her out as much as we can, but we aren't in the position to be taking this much debt on at this time. We appreciate all the help we can get so that we can focus on Hannah getting back to 100%. Many, many people around our community are doing fundraisers for Hannah, which I'll list here for anyone that is local and wants to participate. 

#17STRONG T-Shirts: https://www.facebook.com/events/404210126826619/

Pizza Pete's Fundraiser:

Brat Fry at Jen's Sweet Treats:
April 26th from 10AM until 2PM
4745 S Packard Ave, Cudahy, WI 53110

Donations ()

  • Jamie Dollhopf 
    • $25 
    • 8 mos
  • Emily Reinholz 
    • $10 
    • 8 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $30 
    • 9 mos
  • Janeé Pederson 
    • $20 
    • 9 mos
  • Crystal Roth 
    • $50 
    • 9 mos
See all


Melissa Wittliff 
Cudahy, WI
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