(KAIT/NBC) - May is about raising awareness of stroke. Although your stroke risk increases with age, a stroke can happen at any age.
Between 2000 and 2010, there was a 44 percent increase in the rate of strokes among people 25 to 44 years old.
As a determined medical student, Sydney Priest's goal was in sight until her life suddenly took a turn.
Sydney's friends found her unconscious.
A helicopter rushed her to MU Health Care's Level 1 Stroke Center for specialized care.
It turned out, at just 25, Sydney suffered a stroke.
A specialist removed a blood clot longer than an inch from Sydney's brainstem.
Dr. Brandi French was a part of this care team.
"I mean certainly in older people you look at the high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, certain heart abnormalities, but we're seeing stroke more and more in younger and younger patients," Dr. French said.
MU healthcare doctors say brain damage can begin in minutes, so it's crucial to know the stroke signs to get immediate help.
Click here for the warning signs of stroke.