Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy survivor Jimmy Fremgen holds his first three implantable cardioverter defibrillators. (Photo courtesy of Jimmy Fremgen) Running late after a hectic day, Jimmy Fremgen sprinted up a flight of stairs to his apartment. His hands shook so wildly he had trouble fitting the key into the lock. Once inside, his heart pounded so rapidly…

Heart surgery and stroke survivor Arthur Castro outside the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of Arthur Castro) When Arthur Castro was born, doctors could immediately tell something was wrong. The color of his skin belied trouble with his heart that hadn’t been picked up on several ultrasounds typical of a routine pregnancy….

Kevin Marcus Miller (left) with his brother, Cameron Miller. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Marcus Miller) Kevin Marcus Miller joined a rec basketball league in Seattle to get more exercise, meet new people and balance out a life that had become too dominated by work. Minutes into his second game, the 25-year-old was dribbling up the…

Jacob York survived a stroke at 21. He’s sharing his story in hopes others his age won’t feel as alone as he did. (Photo courtesy of Jacob York) Soon after turning 21, Jacob York and his buddies from the University of Missouri were in Miami Beach, Florida, for spring break. They spent their days by…

Dorothy Farris had a stroke during a Zoom call with friends. (Photo by Dawn Switzer) At the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Dorothy Farris organized “Cocktails and Conversation,” a weekly hourlong Zoom session with a group of old friends. Thursdays from 5-6 p.m. quickly became a cherished part of their routines. They talked…

Stroke survivor Andrea Paez. (Photo courtesy of Andrea Paez) One morning when she was 24, Andrea Paez woke up to find dark red blood on her pillow. She felt exhausted and nauseous, with a pounding headache. Looking in the mirror, she realized the blood had come from her nose. Andrea had had occasional seizures throughout…

Stroke survivor Lisa Anderson (right) with her husband, Jacob. (Photo by Amanda Orelman Photography) Lisa Anderson shook her husband, Jacob, awake. “I just got off the phone with the nurse,” she told him. “She said I could have a stroke.” Jacob bolted out of bed, trying to make sense of the news. It was around…

Orthopedic surgeon and stroke survivor, Dr. Mike Knapic. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Mike Napic) As usual, Dr. Mike Knapic’s workday was packed. By early afternoon, the orthopedic surgeon had completed three total knee replacements and was headed into surgery to repair a broken collarbone. Throughout the day, he’d felt a strange sensation. Every 10 minutes…

Stroke survivor Stephanie Gerding (left) with her husband, Patrick, and daughter, Madeline, in 2019. (Photo courtesy of Stephanie Gerding) After back-to-back work trips, Stephanie Gerding came home on a Saturday completely exhausted. She had a headache and neck pain, but she thought a good night’s sleep was all she needed to bounce back. In the…

Tim Connery (left) with his dad, Dick. (Photo courtesy of Tim Connery) When 81-year-old Dick Connery had back surgery in 2019, his son Tim Connery became his primary caregiver. Tim moved in temporarily, ran errands and kept his dad company. Then, Tim said, “in the blink of an eye, things changed.” One morning, about three…