FSU super fan survives stroke, back to cheer on the Noles

By: Julie Montanaro | Eyewitness News
February 8, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Florida State University women's basketball team is getting ready to take on Virginia.

There in the stands, three rows up will be John and Alesia Pride. The season ticket holders had one of their first dates at an FSU women's basketball game.

But John nearly lost his wife and his life at a game in November. This one truly came down to the wire.

John and Alesia Pride are court side every time the Lady Noles hit the hardwood.

"They play an uptempo game. They're really exciting to watch," John Pride said as he watched FSU take on Notre Dame.

The Prides were at the Tucker Center that night in November when FSU beat Samford, but the Prides didn't get to celebrate the win for long.

"I came out of the restroom and I just kind of collapsed," John said. "There were paramedics right there on the spot, by the grace of god they were right there."

"I remember them putting me into the ambulance and I remember going down the road and I could see the street from the doors of the ambulance," he said.

"I was hysterical," his wife Alesia said. "I was like do whatever you need to do to save my husband."

John doesn't remember much after that, but doctors got to work, wheeling him into emergency surgery.

Feeling soon returned in John's right side and within days he went home.

"They kept telling me had we not gotten him there, he wouldn't have made it," Alesia Pride said. "Literally we had a ten minute window."

"Literally. It was a miracle," she said.

"I was back in the seat very next game," John said. "Very next home game... 10, 12 days later."

"To see him back and in the stands that quickly... everybody called it a miracle," FSU Women's Basketball Coach Sue Semrau said.

Coach Semrau heard about John's stroke, texted repeatedly to check on him and invited the faithful fans to share their story with the team.

"We brought him into the locker room," Semrau said. "Our players were like... eyes wide open... that man, this really happened and you're still back here? You care that much about us?"

"Come on ladies," John shouted.

"Shoot it," Alesia yelled.

"Every time I come to the game it means a lot," Alesia Pride said. "Because it brings back great memories and tears of joy, because the story could have been different. I could have been sitting here by myself."

The Prides wanted to share their story to encourage folks to know the warning signs of stroke and to act fast. Doctors at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital say, "time lost is brain lost." Minutes matter.

The TMH website offers the BE FAST method to decide whether someone is having a stroke and needs to be brought to the emergency room immediately.

Loss of balance
Trouble with coordination
Unexplained fall
Find out if the person experienced a sudden loss of balance or coordination, unexplained dizziness, unsteadiness or a sudden fall.

Sudden dimness
Blurred vision
Loss of eyesight
Ask if the person can see normally or if they are having issues suddenly seeing out of one eye.

Sudden numbness/tingling
Facial weakness
Ask the person to smile, and check for a crooked smile.

Sudden weakness
Ask the person to hold both arms out, close their eyes and check for drifting of one arm.

Sudden slurred speech
Garbled speech
Inability to speak
Ask the person to repeat a sentence and listen for changes in speech or inability to follow this command.

Time lost is brain lost. Call 9-1-1 immediately.

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