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Young stroke victim shapes recovery with determination and creativity

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Paul Corkery and Keri Andrews planned their wedding to be filled with love - and lots of laughter. But two weeks later, Keri suffered a stroke.{ }Daily speech, physical and occupational therapy appointments are now part of her everyday life. (Photo: KOMO News)

No one plans on having a stroke. But, it can be particularly life-altering when it happens at a young age.

A local woman is shaping her own recovery with determination and creativity.

Paul Corkery and Keri Andrews planned their wedding to be filled with love - and lots of laughter.

Their life together was off to the perfect start.

That lasted two weeks.

"If you want to talk about emotional curve," said Paul.

Just days after their "I do's," Keri suffered a stroke.

"I was just. I, limp. And I couldn't do anything. Right there," said Keri.

That was nine months ago.

Today, Keri is relearning basic skills, including how to talk.

Daily speech, physical and occupational therapy appointments at UW Medicine Northwest Hospital are now her job.

It's a far cry from the successful career she built, first at Microsoft - then launching her own business creating personalized action figures - and most recently, working at Amazon.

"I want the work. I can't, I can't talk to do anything," said Keri.

Keri's right thumb wants to curl in, and fine motor control is a challenge.

When she had her stroke, Keri was in peak physical shape. And at 42 years old, she is a young stroke victim.

"No one could really tell us what the prognosis or recovery was going to look like. There's still not a lot of certainty," said Paul.

There is certainty in Keri's drive.

She recently started making puppets - and even with one working hand and no previous experience, the results are impressive.

It's not the start to marriage they expected - but Paul still sounds like a newlywed.

"She's easily the most incredible person I've ever met. I'm lucky enough to be married to her," said Paul.

Getting quick medical attention is key in stroke recovery.

Warning signs include: one side of the face drooping, not being able to lift one arm, and slurred speech.


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