17-year-old’s first stroke sign hit her eyes during a dance class

Stroke: CDC outlines the main signs and how to respond

Georgie Holland, 17, was attending a dance lesson when the first symptom struck. The teenager was suffering from a stroke that left her with permanent damage to her vision. However, the beauty queen says surviving the medical emergency taught her to say yes to everything and her life is better for it. 

The then 17-year-old was at a dance lesson at school when she suddenly completely lost her sight.

Putting it down to a migraine, she went home and tried to recover in bed for a few days.

However, Georgie’s symptoms didn’t stop there. By the third day, she was slurring her words and couldn’t remember the word password.

When her dad and brother noticed these warning signs, they realised something was seriously wrong.

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According to Virtua Health, temporary vision loss can be a warning sign, alerting to an impending stroke.

Slurring speech like Georgie experienced is also a tell-tale sign of the medical emergency.

According to the NHS, the main stroke symptoms to be aware of form an acronym FAST:

  • Face – the face may drop on one side, you may not be able to smile, or your mouth or eye may droop
  • Arms – you may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in one arm
  • Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or you may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake (you may also have problems understanding what you’re being told)
  • Time – stands for time to dial 999 immediately if you notice any of these signs or symptoms.

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Georgie was then rushed to hospital, where she had a CT scan and was told she’d had a stroke.

Unfortunately, her right eye has remained vision-impaired, meaning she can’t learn to drive.

Despite never finding out what caused the stroke, she didn’t let the experience define her.

She now dedicates her free time to charity projects and pursuing her passion for beauty pageants.

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Georgie, who is sponsored by Modu Aesthetics, said: “Since the stroke I’ve lived every day like it’s my last – you don’t know when it’s going to be and I’ve been given second chance.

“I never had any health issues prior to the stroke.

“You’ve got to act quite quickly with a stroke but because it took a couple of days to realise what it was, it meant that blood cells had died.

“They couldn’t really determine the cause and since then I’ve been doing research and working with a women’s health company to find out what actually went on.

“Since then, I’ve seen a very positive side of life and now I’m doing a diploma in social media marketing, I’m an operations manager and I work at food banks and do a lot of charity work.”

Georgie, who always watched pageants, even decided to go for Miss Universe to kick off her beauty competition journey. She reached the final of the pageant this year.

She added: “If I’d have told 17-year-old Georgie that I was going to do a pageant and enter Miss Universe she would have laughed in my face.

“I did go through some dark times and didn’t know what was going to happen to me in the future.

“I had quite a negative spell where I thought, ‘I can’t do this’, but you have to be positive in life.

“It was definitely a difficult time for me but I’ve come so far now and have such a positive outlook. I wouldn’t be the person I am without it.”

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