In November of 2016, KSNT News Anchor Brooke Lennington got a call no one ever wants to get.
Her dad, 50-year-old Rich Lennington suffered a massive stroke while home alone in his apartment in Goodland, Kansas.
Emergency responders estimate that nearly seven hours had passed before her dad called 911 for help, “At that time I had no idea, at that time I was thinking I was going to die right then and there,” Lennington said.
Her dad had suffered a hemorrhagic stroke, which means there was a bleed in his brain.
Hemorrhagic strokes account for about 13 percent of all strokes and can be extremely debilitating, according to the American Heart Association.
Through months of therapy her dad was able to learn how to eat and speak again. But he lost his ability to walk or use his left hand.
“It’s awful it’s just the worst thing that’s ever happened you think,” he said. “I can’t walk, I can’t do anything and I want to get up and do something, like just want to get up and move and you can’t do anything, nothing works.”
He went from owning two businesses in northwest Kansas, and living a normal life, to living in a nursing home.
“I never had anybody help me do anything ever,” he said. “And now I can’t even go to the bathroom by myself hardly.”
Doctors believe there were a few factors that caused his stroke:
- Strokes run in their family
- He had high blood pressure, but wasn’t taking his pills consistently
- His issues with being an alcoholic
Over the last year and half Brooke and her dad have learned to accept their new normal.
They hope by sharing their story, it will help prevent this from happening to anyone else’s family.
This is what Brooke’s dad had to say when asked what advice he would give to people if he could turn back time, “If you have high blood pressure, do not forget to take your blood pressure pills,” he said. “Don’t ever forget to take them, and if you’re a drinker, and you drink excessively like I did stop that immediately.”