When 26-year-old Kathryn Tucker felt a sharp pain in the back right-hand side of her head, she had no idea what was going on. Instantly, she lost her vision and she went numb.
Tucker’s brother was at her apartment and was able to get her to the hospital where doctors dismissed her symptoms as a migraine with aura. She was sent home without any medical intervention.
Tucker said she slept for three days straight. When she woke up her vision was horrible and she could barely get around. After her health didn’t improve she went to a neurologist in an urgent care facility who diagnosed it as a stroke.
Exactly nine months later her twin sister Kimberly Tucker suffered a stroke on the opposite side. The twins are fraternal and do not share DNA. They have family history of stroke, but doctors are not sure of a genetic link at the time.
Doctors say it is rare to be looking at two sisters who have had strokes within months of each other. The twins suffered a stroke on opposite sides of the occipital lobe, which is responsible for sending visual input from the brain to the retina.
May is national Stroke Month and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stroke is the leading cause of death in the U.S., killing nearly 130,000 Americans each year.
The signs and symptoms of stroke can be symptomatic of a common condition, and women experiencing strokes are frequently misdiagnosed. Check out What Women Need to Know about strokes.