Sportswriter Terry Foster reflects on own stroke amid Dan Gilbert's

The recent news of Detroit billionaire and Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert suffering a stroke hits particularly close to home for sportswriter Terry Foster. 

The former "Detroit News" sports writer and sports radio host had a stroke in 2016. He says the warning signs were like whispers then, but in hindsight they were screaming at him.

"One day I woke up and I'm talking [differently], slurring my speech, and I can't write. My right side felt funny and I'm like, 'Dang, something's wrong.' And even then I thought I had the flu."

Foster writes about his experience and how Gilbert's health scare hits close to home in his blog, The Struggle And The Joy. Foster says one can still live well after a stroke, but the road to and after recovery is no cake walk.

His advice to stroke survivors: slow down, but stay active both physically and mentally. Also try to tweak your diet.

"My understanding in being in the stroke unit for five days, all those people in there were in the hospital because of sodium, because of salt," he says. 

"We can do a much better job of preventing a stroke from coming about than we can once the stroke occurs and then we have to dig the person out of that potential problem," says neurologist Dr. Bruce Silverman with Ascansion Providence Hospital. He leads the stroke programs at the hospitals in Southfield and Novi. 

He says maintaining normal blood pressure and blood sugar, exercising and having a balanced diet are crucial to staving off a stroke.

But if you have one?

"The key to success is to try to get to a hospital center that's adept at caring for a stroke patient as early as possible, so that when we can intervene we can intervene as early as possible in the process and to try to avoid damage to the brain," Dr. Silverman says. 

He says in many cases damage to the brain is irreverisble in most cases. He says if patients can get to an emergency room within four and a half hours, doctors can provide them with a medication that breaks down blood clots and helps restore blood flow to the brain.