Stroke selfie likely saved life of woman in her 40s

A selfie may have saved a Canadian woman's life. When Stacey Yepes experienced paralysis on her left side, she used her smart phone to take a video of her symptoms.

"It's April 2nd at 6:42 and the sensation is happening again," she says in the video. "I don't know why this is happening to me."

Yepes was driving home after running errands when she felt half her body go weak.

"My hand is hard to lift up," she says in the video.

"It was panic, it was fear," she said later. "My legs, my arm, my face, my speech, everything."

It wasn't the first time it happened. Two days earlier, Yepes was watching TV when her entire left side went limp. She rushed to the emergency room - where doctors gave her a diagnosis she couldn't believe - stress.

"I really thought to myself, you're kidding me," Yepes said.

Doctors told her if the weird symptoms happened again, just breathe. So when the numbness and slurred speech came back, she did.

"The doctor said to breathe in, breathe out, manage your stress. And I'm trying," she says in the video.

She whipped out her smart phone to document her episode.

"Then I just pulled out my phone because I needed somebody to see what was happening to me," Yepes said.

Less than 48 hours later, she showed the video to doctors at Krembil Neuroscience Centre - looking for a second opinion. Doctors this time diagnosed her correctly with a small stroke called a TIA. They said she'd actually had three strokes.

"It's sometimes hard to describe," said Dr. Cheryl Jaigobin, Krembil Neuroscience Centre. "Videotaping gave us a very, very compelling picture of what happened to her."

Had Yepes ignored her symptoms, she would likely have had more strokes, putting her at risk for permanent damage. Today, she's getting rehab treatment and taking medication to prevent another episode. And of course, her phone is now always at her side.

"I will never leave home without it," Yepes said. "I will dial 911 first... It's always handy just in case."

"Things that we usually associate with older age, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol, is happening more and more often in younger people. So young patients can present with stroke," Jaigobin said.

Yepes' local hospital has now asked for her video, to have a look at it and learn from it.

CNN contributed to this report.
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