Milwaukee woman uses her experience to spread awareness on World Stroke Day

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58)-- On World Stroke Day, a Milwaukee woman is using her experience to educate the community about the signs and symptoms of a stroke.

It was a typical June day for Cary Brown, playing cards with friends, until it wasn't.

"I kept dropping my cards, and when it was my turn to play, I wasn't playing," Brown said.

A friend sitting next to her could tell something was off.

"As soon as I smiled, everyone at the table realized," Brown.

They realized Brown was having a stroke. What happened next may have saved her life.

"I just knew there was a problem, and I'm calling 911," Thomas Redomski, Brown's partner, said. 

Within 20 minutes, Brown was treated by the stroke team at Aurora St. Luke's Hospital.

"All of these treatments are really time dependent," Stroke Team Director at Aurora St. Luke's Hospital Dr. Ilana Ruff said. "It's important to get to the emergency room right away."

The quick action of her friends, paramedics and doctors helped Brown make a full recovery.

"Cary is just one of those examples of somebody who's done really well, and I love that she's now advocating to make sure the rest of the community knows about strokes," Ruff said.

Brown wants you to know what signs and symptoms to look out for.

"Call 911. Don't hesitate, and then be fast," Brown said. "The balance, the slurred speech, the drooping of the face, the vision. You know, be aware of those signs."

Today, Brown is back to playing cards with friends like nothing ever happened.

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