Advocate Spotlight: Drew Sperling


Drew Sperling, California

Drew Sperling was a college student in good health when he suffered a hemorrhagic stroke. He had no family history, blood pressure was normal and no other signs or symptoms – other than a minor headache. 

“I was 21 years old -- I had a small headache, but didn’t think anything of it,” said Drew. “I was in San Luis Obispo. It was the day before Thanksgiving, I planned to golf with my dad. Instead I was medi-vacced to a trauma hospital.”

That was November 2009. Drew spent five months in the ICU and then a rehab facility. When he was brought home to Moraga, he weighed a little more than 100 pounds. Months of physical and occupational therapy and gaining muscle mass proved successful. Nearly four years later, Drew plans to enroll in St. Mary’s College marketing program.

“Never give up. Follow your dreams. I want to be the President of the United States,” Drew says half-jokingly. “Keep asking questions of your doctors. Demand answers. Be your own patient advocate.”

Doctors are still baffled about why Drew had a stroke, but they do know that he is fortunate to be alive. His particular type of stroke has a one-in-three survival rate. Drew wants people to be aware of the signs and symptoms of stroke: F.A.S.T. – Facial droop, Arm weakening, Speech Difficulty and Time to call 9-1-1.

“If a stroke can happen to me when I was a healthy 21 year-old. It can happen to you,” Drew replied. “Be aware of F.A.S.T. signs of stroke and take action quickly. Time is of the essence.”

Drew still enjoys to golf and uses it as a tool to aid in his rehabilitation.  Drew was highlighted in the San Francisco Examiner.  Click here to view.

~Crafted by Terry Mock, Sr. Communications Director

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