PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5)--This year we have seen two very prominent entertainers die from stroke at a young age. Award winning director John Singelton died at the age of 51.
And at only 52, beloved actor Luke Perry died less than a month after suffering a massive stroke.
Kendall Ong, a popular valley hairstylist and salon owner suffered a massive stroke while on vacation about six months ago, he survived.
His life has definitely changed, he is back to doing hair and educating people on hair care and self care.
"It's been a pretty dramatic six months, says Ong.
January 18th was the day everything for Kendall while on vacation in Germany.
"We were going back for a family kind of party and reunion."At three in the morning I woke up. I had a scratch my back. When I woke up, I realized that something was wrong," says Ong.
He could't feel his left side, and kept trying to scratch that itch.
"I literally had to pick my arm up to kind of move it. I went to sit up, and because my left side was paralyzed, when I at up, I just kind of collapsed backwards. I didn't really think I was having a stroke until my wife woke up," says Ong.
His wife woke up thinking Ong was just out of it. But luckily she knew the signs of stroke.
"She looked at my face, and the left side of my face was kind of drooping," says Ong.
Ong was having a massive stroke. His symptoms, pretty severe and obvious. But many who have a stroke either never notice the signs, or just them.
Ong's planned two week vacation turned into two months of intense medical care in Germany.
"They put me into intensive care. I went through a week of inpatient therapy.
They transferred me to a three week impatient rehab center. I lost my ability to speak my ability to walk and move around," says Ong.
The biggest hit, his fine motor skills, the use of his hands is still a problem that came along with the stroke. He needs his hands to do his work.
"Just brushing hair, and combing hair with my left hand. that just takes sometime to comeback. I'm on a reduced schedule now, just taking one to two clients a day, two days a week."
A massive scale back for Kendall, who was, for 45 years before the stroke, a self admitted 'workaholic, running Mane Attraction Salon.
"That's probably what caused me to have the stroke that drive of doing more and always needing to do better," Kendall says.
He is 62 years old, and now has a whole new way of thinking.
"The new reality is that I am taking more time for myself. There is always gonna be more time to work. We work to live, not live to work. so id say just taking care of yourself is the biggest thing," Ong says.
Kendall educates all of his clients the signs of stroke when they are getting his services
Remember the word, fast. The letters in stands for.
(F)ace: Smile and see if one side of the face droops.
(A)rms: Raise both arms. Does one arm drop down?
(S)peech: Say a short phrase and check for slurred or strange speech.
(T)ime: If the answer to any of these is yes, call 911 right away and write down the time when symptoms started.