By Alexandria Hein
Published July 29, 2019
A 49-year-old man is lucky to be alive after a violent cough likely caused a tear in his artery, triggering a severe stroke. Paul Park, who had to leave his job with the UK Ministry of Defense after 30 years because of his stroke, said his trouble started with a cold.
“I had a nasty cold and a violent cough in the week leading up to my stroke, which may have caused the damage to the artery in my neck,” he told SWNS. “I remember my eyes just feeling like tiny little things that kept going and coming back.”
For patients with high blood pressure or who have a cerebral aneurysm, forceful coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose could cause a stroke, according to UCI Health. Forceful coughing or sneezing may increase the pressure inside of the brain, causing a hemorrhagic stroke. UCI Health said these strokes are typically more common when cases of flu and allergies spike.
Park told SWNS that he did not have any underlying conditions prior to coming down with the cold, but the stroke left him partially paralyzed. He said he spent six months in rehab and could only say three words. In the two years since his stroke, he’s rebuilt his vocabulary through regular speech and language therapy, and has taken up painting.
“Every Monday morning I attend a group with other stroke survivors and it’s great,” Park said, of his Stroke Association support group. “For the first time, I recognize there are other people like me. I love doing my art too, it’s helped so much.”