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Angela Gross survives stroke at age 39

Published in Women's Services, For the Health of It Author: CentraCare

Miracle baby saves mother’s life

For most of her adult life, Angela Gross, Sartell, was told she’d never get pregnant. Miraculously, she did. Two weeks after giving birth to her daughter, Kaitlyn, Angela began experiencing unusual symptoms such as sore neck, headaches, sight issues and migraines. Within days, she found out why.

“I was trying to get out of bed and I couldn’t stand up. I fell into the wall. Thankfully my husband came in, saw me and called 911,” Angela said.

Still confused about what was happening, and adamant that she was OK, Angela was brought to the Emergency Room at St. Cloud Hospital. “I was there, in the hospital bed, when I realized I couldn’t move,” Angela said. “Suddenly I lost it. How will I take care of my baby?” she thought.

Angela was treated for stroke, which was caused by a tear in one of the large arteries in her neck. She had a procedure to correct the tear and thanks to everyone’s quick actions, Angela has few lasting side effects.

Four months later, during follow up testing from her stroke, doctors discovered that Angela had a cerebral aneurysm — a weakened blood vessel that bulges. Brain surgery was needed to clip it and prevent a rupture. Feeling like a time bomb, and not knowing if and when something could happen, Angela quickly decided to have surgery March 13, 2012. Following a successful surgery, another curve ball came her way. While yet in the hospital, she and her husband learned Angela was in very early stages of pregnancy.

Today, Angela feels fortunate to have overcome so many serious health conditions in the past two years. “I thank God for my miracle baby. If I hadn’t gotten pregnant and had my daughter, I wouldn’t have had the stroke and they wouldn’t have found my aneurysm,” she said.

“I work in health care and even when they were telling me I had a stroke, I thought they were overreacting. I was young, active and had good cholesterol. Strokes were for old people.”

After two miracle babies, surviving a stroke and brain surgery in only two years, Angela has learned about life and herself from her experiences. “I don’t take anything for granted. Every day is filled with blessings and I’m just so thankful to be here.”