Thursday, January 15, 2015

Stroke Survivors: Celebrity Boomers

Detail of Bergen from a photo by Alan Light.
Strokes can happen to people at any age, but they are more common among people as they get older.

The Baby Boomers (b. 1946 to 1964) are at increased risk for strokes now that they are in their 50s and 60s.

Even though stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the United Stats, that is a reduction from the 3rd leading cause just a decade ago.  Great news!

With immediate treatment (within 1 to 3 hours) followed by rehabilitation (physical therapy, speech therapy and/or occupational therapy) people can survive and recover a great deal of function post stroke.

Note: I am not a doctor. If you have any concerns about your risk for stroke, see a licensed medical professional. If you have any signs of stroke, call 911. 

Here are a few Baby Boomers who suffered strokes and survived.


Candice Bergen (b. 1946). In the fall of 2006, Bergen suffered a stroke. She was 60 at the time. Bergen didn't tell anyone about it for five years, because didn't want to be "a liability." She concedes that her memory isn't what it used to be. However, she's doing well enough to work in film, television and even theater. She has three forthcoming projects in 2015, the year she turns 69.

Tim Curry (b. 1946).  Curry's stroke took place in July of 2012. He was 66 years old at the time.  Still a working actor, Curry has been doing voice acting for a half dozen or more films and television shows since recovering from his stroke.

Orson Scott Card (b. 1951).  In January of 2011 at age 59, Card suffered a minor stroke that has affected his left hand just slightly. He continues his active career as a science fiction / fantasy writer and public speaker.

Mark McEwen (b. 1954). Radio and television personality McEwen suffered two strokes in 2005 at age 51.  Initially, he was misdiagnosed with the flu, only to suffer a massive stroke while on an airplane. Fortunately, he survived and went on to write a book about his experience. He is very active in stroke awareness campaigns, which encourage people to recognize the signs and seek immediate medical care.

See this 4 minute interview about McEwen's stroke, recovery and advocacy work.


Sharon Stone (b. 1958). In 2001 at the age of 46, Stone suffered a stroke and reports that it took her "two years learning to walk and talk again."  She was rumored to have suffered another stroke in 2014 at age 56 while in Brazil, but she has not confirmed these reports, and she has been actively working since that time.  She has six forthcoming projects in 2015.

Bret Michaels (b. 1963). In 2010 at the age of 47, rock star Bret Michaels suffered a stroke. He continues to perform live and on television.  He released an album in 2013.

Talk to your doctor to learn how you can reduce your risk of stroke, which includes healthy eating, regular exercise, controlled blood pressure, and controlled cholesterol.

Related:

Know the Signs of Stroke  
Dystextia: A New Sign of Stroke





14 comments:

  1. Wow, I wasn't aware of some of these actors' strokes. Yes, good info.

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    1. I knew about two before I started researching. I have a relative experiencing frequent TIAs, so I wanted to learn more about strokes. Thanks for reading.

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  2. Super interesting and falls in the category of "I never knew that". Thanks for sharing. I've always heard it said that there are worse things than dying. I imagine a permanently disabling stroke might fall into that train of thought.

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    1. It is scary. Thankfully, the medical community is learning more all of the time about risks, prevention, and treatment to recover through physical therapy and occupational therapy. Thank heavens.

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  3. That's fabulous the stat has dropped to spots to 5th! My mom had a stroke in her 60s, so the idea of one happening to me is always in the back of my mind.

    So many on your list were so YOUNG! Interesting.

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    1. TWO spots, not to spots. (Brain blurp, not a stroke.) :-D

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    2. Hugs to your mom, and good health to you, Lisa!

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  4. Scary stuff for sure! Great info...will pass this along!

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    1. Thanks for spreading the word. Awareness for prevention and hope for recovery are good things to emphasize.

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  5. So much good information here. I had no idea that all of those celebrities had strokes.

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  6. Great article. I didn't know about so many of these celebrities.

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  7. Great article. My husband had a stroke last year at age 50. He recovered and returned to work in 5 weeks. He will always have a bit of vision loss and memory issues!

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    1. Joy: I am glad your husband recovered enough to return to work. I'm sorry he has to deal with some fall out, but I am sooooo happy that he's a survivor!

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