He says he has no problem remembering things he learned in college, it's the elementary school lessons that give him trouble.
Todd Mortenson is just 28 years old, and he's the victim of a stroke. At first he thought he had a bad cold, but when he went to the hospital, doctors told him a blood clot in his brain had caused a stroke, and he was going to need brain surgery.
Todd had no idea what could've caused him to suffer a stroke at 28 years old. He's not a smoker, he's not overweight and although he had recently lost his job, he wasn't too stressed out.
He says, "I don't know a whole lot about how or why it happened. They said it might be possibly hereditary."
Less than one percent of men ages 25 to 34 will have a stroke, but they're often caused by some type of surgery or a history of migraines, none of which Todd had.
"I kind of woke up in the hospital. I had a stroke and what they thought was possibly a tumor as well. Luckily, it ended up not being a tumor, but since then I've had some trouble with my memory," Todd says.
So he's worked with a speech language pathologist doing simple memory games and word lessons for one hour, three days a week for the past two months.
Kathy Marsceau, his language pathologist, says, "With Todd, the biggest thing he has difficulty with is cognition, and he breaks down at his level of the thought process. He gets distracted."
Marsceau says Todd's comprehension has improved tremendously in the past two months, but that therapy is needs to continue and it is costly.
The trouble is, when Todd lost his job, he also lost his insurance, so his friends have set up a fund in his name to help cover the cost of his medical expenses.
If you'd like to donate, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or send checks payable to Todd Mortenson Medical Fund at:
First National Bank
148 N. Main St.
Iola, WI 54945