Carly Nunn

Carly Nunn’s Story

In the early hours of November 13, 2018, I transformed from an independent 21-year-old student
in my senior year of college into a stroke survivor.With no warning signs, I felt what I can only
describe as a rush over my head and I laid back in my bed. With overwhelming fear, I went to
reach for my phone and noticed that the entire right side of my body was paralyzed. With quick
action from a roommate, I was in an ambulance on the way to the emergency room. While
undergoing numerous tests, a CT Scan, and an MRI, I had not lost consciousness, yet I could not
communicate. My family and I soon learned that I had survived a ruptured brain aneurysm
within an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) and a stroke. In addition to losing my ability to
speak, I also could not read, recognize numbers or letters, walk, or write.I spent nearly the next
two weeks in the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit and on November 21, 2018, I underwent a
craniotomy which successfully removed the AVM. With no choice, I put my dream of
graduation and the start of my career on pause while I re-learned the basics of life. Once
discharged from inpatient rehabilitation, I began seeing a speech therapist due to my diagnosis of
aphasia and apraxia. In addition to my difficulty with speech, I quickly found myself more
anxious and experiencing panic attacks when I was too overstimulated. Over the course of 2019, I continued to work on my speech, reading, and cognition to prepare myself to tackle the goal I once had of graduating with an undergraduate degree in social work. In January of 2020, almost two years after my stroke, I returned to the University of Cincinnati to finish my degree in social work and graduated in December of 2020.From my unique experience of overcoming a stroke at such a young age, my next goal is dedicating my career to educate the public, advocate for this population, and raise more awareness that a stroke can happen to anyone, just like myself.

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