Carol Cannon

Carol Cannon, a 64-year-old retired hairdresser, was at home when her right leg and arm “didn’t feel right.” Thinking fatigue had made her disoriented, she lay down for a while. It turns out she was having a life-threatening stroke. An ambulance took her to Houston Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center where she was enrolled in a research study at the Eddy Scurlock Stroke Center for a device that delivers high-intensity near-infrared laser light through the skull and deep into the brain. Researchers at Houston Methodist wanted to know if the light could help generate cellular energy to brain areas affected by a stroke.

By the next morning, Carol was shocked at the difference — she could raise her right arm and leg. When she left Houston Methodist, she could walk, dress herself, brush her teeth and feed herself. Carol has since moved to a different study within Houston Methodist that looks at preventing secondary strokes.

She now helps her husband with bookkeeping for his store in Dayton, Texas. In her spare time, she likes to arrange flowers, paint and do yard work. “You can’t do it all. You have to stop and take care of yourself. Be aware of your body. I wish I had known the signs and symptoms of a stroke. I could have gotten to a doctor or hospital faster to get help.”

Learn more about signs and symptoms and how to prevent a stroke.