TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A stroke almost took the life of a vibrant and spirited 15-year-old Michigan girl earlier this spring, but with quick intervention from ProMedica doctors she was able to throw the first pitch at Fridays Mud Hens game to "Strike Out Strokes."
"They said something was d ropping," said Makiyah Terry. "I remember me going outside, but that was it that was all I remember."
On March 3rd of 2018, Makiyah Terry was in town for a volleyball game when she started to feel ill.
She recalls having a headache, feeling dizzy and sweating profusely. Her coach noticed her symptoms were serious and called for an ambulance which took her to the hospital.
"She was very, very sick when she came to us," said Dr. Syed Zaidi, Medical Director of the Neurointerventional Lab at ProMedica Toledo Hospital and also an associate professor of Neurology at the University of Toledo Medical Center.
Makiyah was suffering from a ruptured aneurysm that caused the blood to spill all over her brain.
"It's a rare phenomenon to have it at that age," said Dr. Zaidi.
Doctors had to act fast, something her parents weren't prepared for.
"This was my child, my oldest child who's a very healthy young athlete and it was just unbelievable," explained Makiyah's mom Yolanda Terry. "Then it came to why, how could something like this happen to a healthy athlete? But it just goes to show that it can happen to anyone, at any age."
At just 15-years-old, Makiyah had to have open brain surgery.
Doctors had saved her and she was on track for a full recovery.
"It's a blessing, God did a miracle. I'm just, they call me a miracle child because if it wasn't for him I would not be here right now," said Makiyah.
While they are experts in their field, Makiayah's doctors say her case makes all their studying, hard-work and sleepless nights worth it.
"It takes a toll on anyone," said Dr. Syed Zaidi. "We work in a sad line of the field. Stroke is a sad field, we lose a lot of our patients so now and then running into a person like herself, makes it all worth it."
Looking at Makiyah Friday throwing the first pitch at the Mud Hens game, you would never know that just months ago she had a stroke.
Her family credits God's grace and the doctors who saved their little girl.
"We just want to say thank you to everyone for the support and the courage, but more than anything ProMedica who was state of the art," explained Makiyah's dad Mike Terry. "Doctor Reinard and Doctor Zaidi. I cannot thank them more for having a priority of making sure my daughter would have a full life that she has today."
Toledo is actually one of the most advanced places for stroke care because of the team approach and immediate action from EMS to the medical professionals in the stroke unit.
"It's very important, it's very key that stroke symptoms are notified right away," said Dr. Zaidi. "That the patient is brought to the right center right away and we are able to give them the treatments that are available now thankfully."
And it's a good thing that we have such high-quality care in the Toledo area because doctors say the need is high right here.
"Unfortunately, in Lucas County the adult stroking rate is about 24-25% compared to the nationwide average of 18%, so there is a lot of work that needs done. We have to address those risk factors, otherwise we'll be dealing with these major strokes all the time," said Dr. Zaidi.
Doctors say the biggest risk factors are high blood pressure and high cholesterol along with diabetes.
They use an acronym "BE FAST" for the symptoms of stroke.
Balance trouble and dizziness
Eyes. Blurry, double vision or no vision.
Face d ropping on one side.
Arm weakness or numbness.
Time to call 911.
Doctors say if you are experiencing any symptoms of stroke you should call 9-1-1 immediately because early intervention yields the best results.