Sten Anderson's Story

"I spent two months at Knapp with therapy every day. Still working a little on my left side, which was totally immobile after the stroke. I can make a fist, still determined to open it."

Sten had just moved from his small town in western Wisconsin to his new Minneapolis apartment. His roommate was joining him in a month. Using the treadmill one day in the apartment gym, Sten felt a headache coming on. "It was a major headache like I've never had before, so I decided to go back to my apartment to get some Advil."

Dazed and confused, he ended up on the wrong floor and sat against someone's door for what he thinks was about 20 minutes until someone found him and called 911. He remembers he vomited a couple times and - of all things - was worried about someone having to clean it up.

Before passing out in the ambulance, he was able to give his parent's phone number. After arriving at HCMC, Sten had a craniotomy to reduce the swelling and woke up in the ICU on day 2. Transferred to Knapp, he, like most other stroke patients, began the difficult and sometime long process of rehabilitation.

When Sten came to Knapp he couldn't walk at all. His left side was "totally gone" but he did have some movement on his right side. With two months of intensive physical and occupational therapy, he has recovered remarkably. He still has a slight limp on his left side, but other than that no noticeable impairments. He feels lucky his speech was not greatly affected, but he did undergo some speech therapy as an inpatient at Knapp.

"The stroke was totally random. The doctors called me a perfectly normal 24 year old…except he had a stroke."

With a quick wit, Sten feels grateful for all of his caregivers. "I can't remember all their names. I'm bad with names, but I was bad with names before the stroke."