SAN ANTONIO – May is National Stroke Awareness Month and one stroke survivor who is known for his Tejano music shares his story to shed light on how common a stroke can be and said age doesn’t matter.
Tejano Music Star Michael Salgado was performing last year in August when all of a sudden, he started getting symptoms.
"I started getting numbness on my left side and I started lacking the ability to play the accordion,” Salgado said.
Salgado went to the hospital the next day and doctors said he had a stroke. A few months later he was back on stage.
“I started to feel this numbness again,” Salgado said.
He went to the hospital right and after an MRI, they determined he had a second stroke.
“They discovered that there was too much communication between the left and right chamber of the heart,” Salgado said.
This affected the blood flow to his brain. Salgado was 46 years old at the time when he underwent surgery. He recovered quickly, but that is not always the case, according to Corinthia Nash, a registered nurse for Christus Santa Rosa Health System.
"Every 40 seconds, someone actually has a stroke. And every four minutes someone dies of a stroke. In San Antonio, those statistics are actually higher because of our demographics. Unfortunately, Hispanics make about 80 percent of the strokes that come through our health system,” Nash said.
Nash said education is crucial, starting with knowing the risk factors, which include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and lifestyle. She said rehab needs to start early to optimize the return of function and there are many centers in San Antonio where you can get help during recovery.
“They know where the stroke happened and what to focus on. So occupational therapy, physical therapy helps. They have great machines now where they will actually, if you can’t walk, they will stand you up, they will actually make you walk," he said.
While going to the hospital is important Nash said always call 911 first. In the meantime, Salgado is back on the road -- but wants to remind everyone.
“It’s important to listen to your body,” Salgado said.