Daddy Suffers a Stroke at 31: How This Made our Family Stronger


When you are young, you take your health for granted. You are completely ignorant of what can happen to you. We tend to turn a blind eye to how delicate life can be and in a blink of an eye, things can change. You never think that bad things will happen to you. Until one day, this unwanted visitor comes knocking at your door.

Daddy Suffers a Stroke at 31: How This Made our Family Stronger Ailyn Quesada Contributor Miami Moms Blog
Holding his hand before his heart surgery

An Unforgettable Morning

It was a regular Sunday morning at the Quesada residence. I got out of bed while my husband, Ozzie, was still sleeping. This didn’t happen all the time. But, when it did, it was because we had gone out the night before, which we had. So I paid no mind to it. I made Brianna some breakfast and prepared a bottle for my 2-week old baby, Alexa. Suddenly someone knocked on our door and I became startled because I wasn’t expecting anyone at the time. It so happened to be my uncle who was paying me a quick visit to see the baby before heading to work. He was in and out of my house within 5 minutes. 

After saying goodbye to my uncle, I walked into the bedroom and found my husband at the sink throwing some water on his face because he was feeling funny and seeing blurry. When he looked at me, his left eye was completely turned toward his nose. He’s the type to always fool around, so when I saw his face, I couldn’t help but laugh and tell him, “Stop playing around with me!” He kept insisting that he was not joking around, and reality hit when I started noticing a slur in his speech. He was getting worse as time passed. 

I felt like I didn’t know what to do. The last thing on my mind was that he was having a stroke, so I did what any other person would do: I searched his symptoms on Dr. Google. As I was reading the possible diagnosis of a stroke, I heard him stumbling out of our bedroom walking towards me. He had no balance and was tipping over to his right side. Luckily he leaned against the wall, which helped him not fall.

I knew that something was definitely wrong and I immediately called 911.  

I helped him get dressed and sat him down on our dining table. As I sat next to him to wait for the ambulance to arrive, I couldn’t believe what was happening. I kept thinking, “I can’t lose my husband at the age of 31. We just had a baby girl, will he even get to see his girls grow up?” Feeling impatient I walked outside to wait for the ambulance with my baby in my arms and my hormones completely out of whack. Words cannot describe the pain I felt about my oldest daughter seeing her dad being wheeled out of our house. Her tears and questions will forever remain in my memory of that day. How can I explain this to her? I was at a loss. 

At the Hospital

Once he arrived at the hospital, his symptoms became more noticeable. He started saying things that made no sense and couldn’t recall certain facts like today’s date, and what he had done the day before. It is so scary to see the man you love in this condition. Once the MRI results arrived, it was confirmed that he had a stroke. Doctors were never able to pinpoint the reason behind the stroke, so they called it a “cryptogenic stroke,” which is just a fancy way of saying, “We don’t know what the cause of the stroke was.” 

One of the specialists that came to see him was the cardiologist, and he noticed that he had a hole in his heart after doing some tests. The cardiologist believes that this was the cause of the stroke but cannot give us 100% certainty. It seems that a blood clot traveled through that hole to the other side of the heart where the “clean blood” gets disbursed throughout the body and it shot up to his brain causing the stroke. Luckily this was an easy fix and they closed the hole inside his heart. 

Life After the Stroke

I have to give it to the Mister, he really impressed me. He only spent 4 days in the hospital. He returned to work within a week and dove right back into his regular routine as if nothing happened. We are beyond blessed to say that he was not left with any side effects. His vision corrected itself slowly, and although he didn’t feel quite as sharp at work, it was only a matter of time for him to get into the rhythm of things.

Feeling Humbled

When your little family goes through something like this, it is a humbling experience. We view life from a different perspective now. And although all of the “what ifs” still linger in my head, I thank God every day for allowing my girls to still be with their dad and for giving him another chance at life.