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Pendleton man survives stroke, shares journey for American Stroke Month

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Posted at 8:15 AM, May 20, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — May is American Stroke Month and Indianapolis-based neurologists want to make Hoosiers aware of the potential risks.

Indiana residents report higher levels of stroke than other states, according to the American Heart Association.

“Indiana is one of those states that’s in the stroke belt so we definitely see smokers here in Indiana, as well as obesity. Those are two big factors," neurologist Dr. Jerry Smartt said.

Strokes can be deadly, but Smartt says they’re largely preventable, treatable and beatable.

Jeremy Bolin is one of the 800,000 people in the U.S. a year who have a stroke, according to the American Heart Association.

Bolin had undiagnosed high blood pressure, which he says contributed to him having a stroke at just 45 years old.

Jeremy Bolin

“My vascular system, especially in my brain, is that of an 80-year-old because I had undiagnosed long term hypertension, that I was unaware of," Bolin said.

Recovery has been a long process.

“I suffer from chronic dizziness and pain in my left side is affected," Bolin said. "It affects you mentally quite a bit. Going from being a hard working individual to someone who now can’t work.”

Bolin lives in Pendleton with his wife and daughter.

He spent 25 years working as an environmental engineering consultant — something he says having a stroke took away from him.

He’s been out of work on disability since 2021, but he’s spending his free time turning his pain into purpose.

“I’m in the works of creating a nonprofit for folks that had this happen at an age, in their prime earning years," Bolin said. “Take away their ability to work, they start losing cars, homes, property, everything.”

Bolin says the nonprofit will raise money for scholarships for children of family members that have had stroke or brain damage.

Know how to spot a stroke F.A.S.T. If you see Face drooping, Arm weakness or Speech difficulty, it’s Time to call 911.