Mother's selfie saves her after she collapses, suffers stroke

A 28-year-old Irish mother took a selfie just minutes before she collapsed and suffered a stroke, and now her family is crediting the photo for saving her life, the Irish Sun reports.

Stephanie Farnan, of Wexford, was found on the floor by her father, Frank, who had just dropped her 4-year-old son off at school, on the morning of Aug. 23. Stephanie's older brother Sean purportedly checked her phone and came across a selfie she had taken just 14 minutes before she was discovered.

Farnan was taken to a hospital, where doctors learned that she had suffered a life-threatening brain bleed.

"I don't remember taking the picture or anything from that morning," she told the newspaper. "I just remember getting up and getting a head-rush and the next thing I remember is waking up in ICU in Beaumont [Hospital]."

According to the Sun, doctors believe Farnan's stroke was caused by a hole in her heart, along with an adverse reaction to a contraceptive patch.

"My mammy and the rest of the family was told I wasn’t going to make it and to prepare for the worst," she said. 

Fortunately, doctors were reportedly able to establish a timeframe of events that day by using her selfie and give her anti-clotting medication that can only be given within a specific window of trauma. 

Photo: GoFundMe

Looking back, Farnan told the newspaper that she had missed the signs that led to her stroke and is now warning others to be more aware of their health.

"My vision in one eye was off for a day or two," she recalled. "I was putting it down to tiredness or not wearing my glasses enough. I didn’t think it was the kind of thing to go to the doctor about."

Stroke risk factors and stroke symptoms
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Stroke risk factors and stroke symptoms

Strokes are more common among the elderly, with the chance of stroke nearly doubling each decade after the age of 55. 

(Photo via Getty)

Stroke risk is greater in those whose immediate family members have had a stroke, and a stroke can be a symptom of various hereditary disorders.

(Photo by Yellow Dog Productions via Getty)

The risk of death from stroke is higher in African-Americans as they also have higher risks of complications like high blood pressure and diabetes. 

(Photo via Getty)

Women are also more likely to die of a stroke, possibly due to factors such as birth control usage and pregnancy complications.

(Photo by Hinterhaus Productions via Getty)

Strokes are more likely in people who have already suffered a stroke or a heart attack. 

(Photo by Morsa Images via Getty)

Southeastern states are also called the "stroke belt" states, as strokes are more common in this area. 

(Photo via Getty)

Alcohol abuse can lead to many problems, including strokes. 

(Photo via Getty)

Speech difficulties are a major symptom of someone who has had or is having a stroke.

(Photo by Henrik Sorensen via Getty)

Possibly the most noticeable sign of stroke is the drooping of one side of the face, or face numbness.

(Photo via Getty)

Weakness on one side of the body is another symptom of a stroke. 

(Photo via Getty)


Since her treatment, Farnan has used a walking stick to keep her balance on medication and is dealing with partial blindness in her right eye. Her family has also organized a fundraiser on GoFundMe to help cover her medical and travel expenses. 

"As she is unable to work and has a a very long road to recovery with work not covering sick pay we as a family have decided to set up this page to take the stress of bills and everyday life off of her,"  the fundraiser's description reads.

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