Stroke survivor Cressida Dixon Perry shares story to help others

Extraordinary People

She was a partner at a large law firm, working long hours. and also trying to raise a family. Everything was put on hold when Cressida Dixon Perry suffered a stroke. Now, she’s made it part of her mission to raise awareness about something that changed her life forever.

Cressida Perry Says, “It made me realize it is a gift and you can’t take it for granted and I was. I was just assuming I could just do everything.”

A lot changed for Cressida Dixon Perry after she suffered a stroke at the age of 38. She stopped working so hard, took better care of herself and learned to appreciate every single day.

Cressida Perry says, “I was very stressed. It was stress I put on myself. The combination of being a new mom. Also working. I tried to do it all.”

Cressida says although she appeared to be healthy on the outside, stress was taking a toll. She urges everyone to listen to their body and know their family history. Perry says, “My father had a heart attack at the age of 49. My dad was very physically healthy but he had high cholesterol. I should have been tested and I wasn’t and I have high cholesterol.”

The scariest part of having a stroke for Cressida? She says, “The fact that I never expected that would happen to me and also the fact that I was the mom of a 1-year-old and a 5-year-old and the thought of them living without their mother. “

Cressida shares her story at events throughout Rochester. She urges people to learn the warning signs of a stroke (Face drooping, Arm Weakness, Speech Difficulty) and she talks about how her experience put life into perspective. She says, “My glass is half-full. I know life is a precious gift. I also know that you can never re-do any single day… so you got to make it your best. you can’t sweat the small stuff.”

An important lesson she hopes others don’t have to learn the hard way.

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