Surviving a stroke and raising awareness


COLORADO SPRINGS — February is national Heart Health Awareness month.

Hannah Holt and her family are young, this month has a significant meaning in their life and she wants others to know why they should be aware too.

Holt’s daughter, Reagan, was born on her due date at a normal weight but a mother’s intuition knew something was wrong. Now she’s a healthy 2 1/2-year-old but they weren’t out of the woods yet.

“My daughter was born with two congenital heart defects and she needed open heart surgery at 11 weeks old and we worked our way through that and life went on,” Holt said. “But a year and half after that I had a stroke.”

Last June, Holt collapsed and woke up in the very hospital where she worked as a nurse which ended up being a blessing. They discovered Holt had an aneurysm causing a stroke. Considering Holt’s age, and health, a stroke was the last thing she expected.

In the U.S. someone has a stroke every 40 seconds. Stroke is the number five cause of death in the U.S.

Holt had to learn simple functions like eating and walking all over again.

“The sad thing, I knew the clinical side of stroke, having the knowledge was tough, I knew maybe I wouldn’t recover, thinking maybe would I not have my brain,” Holt said. “It was very terrifying, I knew the reality of it and determined it wouldn’t be me.”

Despite some occasional anxiety and forgetfulness, Holt has made a complete recovery.

On Saturday, the American Heart Association is holding one of it’s biggest fundraisers, The Heart Ball at the Broadmoor Hotel and Holt is this year’s featured Heart Ball Survivor.

If you would like to donate you can here.

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