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IU Bloomington college student, doctor raise stroke awareness

"Just get help because it can change your life"
Strokes in young people
Posted at 8:45 PM, Jan 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-03 20:51:53-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention lists stroke as is the fifth leading cause of death for Hoosiers.

A stroke can happen to anyone, at any age and is why experts say it is imperative to know the signs and symptoms.

“Just know to get help. Even if it’s nothing, just get help because it can change your life,” Carson Scheidler said.

Scheidler is a 20-year-old stroke survivor. Last March, the then IU Bloomington freshman suffered a stroke while at school.

He experienced arm weakness, loss of speech and a raging headache. His twin brother noticed the signs of a stroke and immediately called for help.

It took months of recovery through physical and speech therapies, but the Zionsville graduate is nearly 100%.

Goodman Campbell Brain and Spine’s Dr. Andrew DeNardo cared for Scheidler after he was airlifted to Ascension St. Vincent from Bloomington.

Scheidler and Dr. DeNardo.

“We have the technology to go in and do these procedures to save people from having devastating strokes," DeNardo said. "The only shame is we can’t get to everybody, and the big part of that reason is a lot of those people don’t get identified."

“The area that was at risk was huge and it would’ve left him devastated had we not been able to do anything,” DeNardo said.

It took close to a month before Scheidler could speak coherent sentences and that is when he and his family noticed he developed an accent.

The complication is called “Foreign Accent Syndrome.”

“This is the first case I’ve ever seen for sure, but there are only about 100 cases worldwide that have been reported,” DeNardo said.

It’s unclear why Scheidler developed an accent, but it went away after four to five months.

“I knew what an American accent sounded like, obviously, and I tried to say my words in an American accent, but it wouldn’t come out that way,” Scheidler said.

The takeaway from this college student’s story: Know the signs of stroke.

“I’m lucky. It could’ve been a lot worse. Know the symptoms and know that it can happen to you,” Scheidler said.

A common acronym for stroke symptoms is “F.A.S.T.”

“The real hero in this story is his brother who recognized this. We all can be the hero and make that call,” DeNardo said.

DeNardo said he is seeing more young patients in his office over the last several months, but does not necessarily know the reason behind it. Instead, he says it is something he is looking into further.