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From heartbreak to healing: A story of stroke survival

From Memorial Health System

July 14, 2022, started as a normal day for Durenda Clover. She was on summer break from her job as an elementary school teacher and spending time with her daughter, who was visiting. She was scheduled to go to Detroit with her daughter the next day, and then to Chicago to celebrate her birthday.

Durenda Clover and family

“We had a really fun, busy day,” she recalls. “I went to bed and took a sleeping aid, like I had every night. I woke up after midnight and realized that I couldn’t move my right side or speak. I was rolling over in the bed to my husband with my left side, trying to get his attention.”

Thankfully, Clover’s husband woke up and quickly realized something was wrong. He then woke their daughter, who came to her parents’ room to see what was going on. She took one look at her mom and said, “Dad, call 911. She’s having a stroke.”

Clover was rushed to Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, where she was met in the emergency department by the stroke team that jumped into action and determined that she had suffered a major stroke. A blood clot had traveled to the left side of her brain, and Clover needed an emergent, brain-saving procedure called a thrombectomy to remove the clot that was causing the stroke. Memorial is the only hospital in South Mississippi with a physician capable of performing this emergency procedure.

After a short stay in the ICU, she was admitted to Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital within Memorial Hospital for 10 days. Once she was discharged, she had three days of rehab therapy each week at Community Rehab in Gulfport. By the first part of October, Clover was back at work teaching second grade.

She knows that timing and quick access to lifesaving care helped her see another day.

Durenda Clover

“It could have gone wrong in so many ways, and it didn’t in any of those ways,” Clover says. “It was miraculous because it could have gone really badly. It was unusual that something like that would happen to someone without any risk factors.”

According to the American Heart Association, women comprise nearly 60 percent of all stroke deaths. Although Clover’s symptoms of numbness on one side of her body, facial droop and inability to talk or walk were telltale signs of stroke, women sometimes can experience more vague symptoms, including general weakness, fatigue or confusion.

Clover is thankful for her neurologist, Dr. Lee Voulters, and other members of her care team who acted quickly. Fortunately, she can do everything she did prior to the stroke and is able to live a healthy, active life.


  • Balance – Sudden loss
  • Eyes – sudden loss of vision
  • Facial drooping
  • Arm weakness
  • Speech difficulty
  • Time to call 911

Memorial offers both primary care services and virtual visits. Learn more by visiting or by calling (228) 867-5000.

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