For the month of May, PCHA will be focusing on American Stroke Awareness Month. In the 3rd week of our series, Alison Ogden shares the story of her daughter Molly’s stroke at age sixteen.
Molly awoke for school on November 5, 2012 as if it were any other Monday in her Sophomore year of High School. But life suddenly changed that morning, as her mother, Ailson, found her collapsed and unable to speak. Even though Alison knew the signs of stroke, she didn’t recognize them in her physically fit, distance running 16 year old. Fortunately, the first responders did. The local hospital determined Molly had suffered a massive stroke following a dissection of her carotid artery. After a scan was performed it was confirmed that Molly had a clot in the brain. She was transported to a larger hospital where she would spend the next month and undergo a series of procedures designed to save her life.
She was then transferred to an inpatient rehabilitation hospital in a neighboring state where she would spend the next 2 1/2 months. She returned home on February 12, confined to a wheelchair and still unable to say more than a few words. She started out-patient therapy right away. Her determination and drive, along with her positive attitude and faith, kept her focused on recovery. She returned to school on a part-time basis in April while still spending many hours in therapy each week.
By taking a full load of classes, working closely with the help of a para-educator and devoted school staff, she graduated with honors, on time, with her class in May of 2015!
Molly has attempted college classes, but, because of her aphasia, she found them to be extremely difficult. She still struggles to regain communication, her right hand and foot don’t work the way she would like, but she is determined to continue therapy and still sees improvement. Molly brings joy to every situation she is in, including the volunteer work that she loves. She is open to talking about her situation and feels that spreading awareness of the signs and symptoms of stroke is important. While caring for Molly, Alison has been inspired by her attitude. She has learned from her daughter to look for the best in all people and to live life to the fullest each and every day.
Alison grew up in Kansas City. She and her family, which includes her husband, Brad, daughter, Molly and son, Graham, has recently moved to central Oklahoma, where they live on a cattle ranch. Alison is a recruiter for Jos A Bank and feels lucky to work from home! Her husband owns a home restore/remodel business, with which Alison also assists.