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This story originally appeared on the In the Loop blog.
It was the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and despite having house guests, Sherry Pinkstaff, Ph.D., awoke at 6 a.m., just as she did every day, and began planning her morning run.
Sherry, then 39, ran daily. Exercise was important to her. After all, she’d made it her career. She was a professor of physical therapy at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville and a research collaborator at Mayo Clinic'sFlorida campus. She spends her days teaching students and patients about the power of exercise and its impact on cardiovascular health.
Climbing out of bed on this morning, though, she recalls feeling “off.” Although she initially shrugged off that feeling, she would quickly realize this was the first of several signs something more serious was in play. “I just didn’t feel right, though I couldn’t pinpoint anything at that moment,” says the mother of two.
She thought a few moments of silent reflection in front of the Christmas tree the family had decorated the night before would help, so she made her way downstairs. Then she changed her mind and went back to wake her husband, Kevin.
Then she realized her voice wouldn’t work. She tried over and again, but no words would come out. She shook her husband on the shoulder. Read the rest of Sherry's story.