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Young adults also at risk for strokes

It's a life changing event that can begin with the smallest of signs.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans suffer a stroke each year a growing number of them are young adults right in the middle of the prime of their life.

Chris and Aubrey Tuley were just beginning their life together. But that life changed when the 27-year old man felt a tingle in his finger.

"I had a diet Mountain Dew and took a swig and I couldn't swallow and I remembering panicking," Chris said.

He also had pain in his neck and numbness in his face. Thinking it was a pinched nerve he waited 5 days before he went to the hospital as the pain went from bad to worse.

"Everything went numb and down in my hands I was like okay this is clearly something severe this isn't a crick in my neck," Chris said.

He couldn't believe his ears when doctors told him he had spontaneous dissection, it's a form of stroke. It's relatively rare.

Doctor Howard Kirshner is a neurologist and director of the Vanderbilt Stroke Center: He says the most common kind of stroke in young people is called dissection of an artery. It can result from an injury.

 "The injury can be very minor like a blow to the neck, a heavy coughing or sneezing spell, a very minor whiplash injury," Kirshner said.

With blood thinning medication, to prevent blood clots from forming, the dissection can heal itself.

"It's possible, he may have a slightly higher risk than the average person his age, but it's also quite likely he'll live out his years without having this happen again," Kirshner said.

And Chris plans to live out those years to the fullest. After weeks of physical therapy and medication his life is almost back to normal. 

"It's pretty humbling when the doctor comes in and they get teared up and tell you you're going to make a full recovery and they get to share that with people very often especially with a stroke."