Jessica Cook didn't know what was happening to her. The 33-year-old mother of three sons was at Ringhaver Park on the Westside on Sept. 24, 2011, doing her thing as a soccer mom when she began feeling terrible…At first look, an MRI of her brain didn't appear to show evidence of a stroke, she said. But a St. Vincent's radiologist noticed something unusual at the bottom of the image and realized Cook had suffered a stroke in her brain stem. She was rushed to the Mayo Clinic, where neurosurgeon Richard Hanel waited…The stroke Cook had suffered, a basilar artery occlusion of her right vertebral artery, "is one of the most lethal type of strokes you can have," Hanel said. "She was lucky she was diagnosed in time. Eighty percent of the people who suffer that type of stroke die."
Florida Times-Union by Charlie Patton