Heart of the Gulf: Father’s Day for stroke survivor and Daddy’s girl

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Meghan Austin Robinson considers herself a daddy’s girl. “He’s my everything. He taught me life lessons. He’s always been there,” Robinson said.

She feels very fortunate to have had her father walk her down the aisle in October of last year because of what happened to him one morning at work in October of 2006.

“I had an extremely loud shrill sound in my ears which resembled a large motor running out of control. So, I put my hands over my ears, and it took me a couple of minutes before I realized there wasn’t really any noise. It was my ears,” said Dick Austin, Robinson’s father.

Austin was having a stroke.

“The next thing I knew the paramedics were at my feet and apparently I had just slumped down in the chair and passed out,” said Austin.

He underwent surgery to dissolve the clot and rehabilitation. Two months after the stroke doctors told him his stroke was caused by atrial fibrillation.

“I have aFib but, I never knew I had aFib because any little indicator that I had when I was younger was such a short-term event that I just shrugged it off and never mentioned it to anyone,” Austin said.

His advice for others is to educate yourself and not to ignore any signs of stroke, no matter how small. He realizes he’s very fortunate to have survived it.

“I’m happy to wake up every day, and I have no remaining after-effects from it. So, I’m just very thankful for every day I do have, and I’ll be turning 69 in a couple of months and I’m already looking to be 80,” Austin said.

Robinson’s gratitude for the medical advancements in treating her father motivates her work for the American Heart Association. As Youth Market Director, she works in schools to help instill healthy heart habits in children.

“I tell the students all the time just how thankful I am for The American Heart Association, how thankful I am for the people who donate. So, that we can raise the funds and we can support research, so we can come up with new innovative surgeries, medicines, techniques, whatever it may be to help save another life,” Robinson said.

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