“I had symptoms and high cholesterol, but I didn’t know what that meant.”

November 15, 2022

Jean MarshallJean Marshall was awoken on August 3, 2020, by excruciating pain in her leg. She tried to get up, but instead fell; the left half of her body paralyzed, she had to drag herself across the floor to call 911.

When she reached Inland Valley Medical Center, a campus of the Southwest Healthcare System, she was assessed by staff who told her she had a stroke. Looking back, Marshall realizes she had many of the risk factors and warning signs of stroke. “I had symptoms and high cholesterol,” she says, “but I didn’t know what that meant or what to do about it.”

She was promptly transferred to Temecula Valley Hospital where the team was ready to care for her. The neurologist who treated her explained the mechanical thrombectomy procedure that would remove the blood clot in her brain. Marshall was scared, but her doctor reassured her. “He told me he was one of the best doctors in the Valley,” Marshall says. “I had to trust him because I wanted to get better.”

Marshall’s trust paid off when the procedure was completed without complication, and she regained mobility after one night. “I was moved by all my nurses’ genuine kindness and sympathy,” she says. “When I was able to move my toes again, the nurse caring for me was overcome with emotion. ‘This is why I do what I do,’ he said.”

Marshall took her rehabilitation into her own hands when she was discharged two weeks later. She followed along with workouts and yoga videos at home. She told herself, "I got a second chance of life. I am taking care of myself and my health."

Two years later, Marshall is awed by her progress; she takes care of her health through lifestyle changes and medical consultations. She is grateful for her recovery and the ability to return to her freelance photography business and enjoy the outdoors.

“I felt proud of myself when I was able to drive myself to Santa Barbara, carry 20 pounds of equipment and stand on my feet all day to photograph a wedding. It showed me I can do anything.”