Survivor Story – Jay Lambert

Richmond, VA – On January 30, 2015, Jay Lambert was enjoying his Friday evening before planning on going into work the following morning. What Jay expected to be an ordinary night, however, resulted in Jay waking up three days later at a hospital.

“My life was changed forever when I felt this excruciating pain in my head and within a matter of minutes my girlfriend was calling 911,” Lambert reflected.

When Jay awoke at the hospital, he was informed he had survived a stroke.

“When I arrived at the hospital I was given an angiogram and that is when they found that I had an AVM, a twist of blood vessels in my brain that I had been living with all my life.”

Jay’s stroke was triggered when the arteriovenous malformation (AVM), a cluster of deformed and weakened vessels in his brain, ruptured and caused bleeding in his brain. This is called a hemoraghic stroke.

Upon learning he had a stroke, Jay was shocked.

“I was 40 years old and felt good and healthy and had no clue that I was living with a time bomb in my head.”

Brain AVM’s are extremely rare, affecting only one percent of the population. They also rarely present symptoms, often resulting in their lack of detection until their point of rupture.

Thankfully, Jay was rescued in time because of the speed in which 9-1-1 was called. “The doctors said what made the difference is how quickly I got to the hospital.”

“I was told that I lost my speech and words would come out that made no sense,” Jay stated.

Jay’s rescuer recognized the F.A.S.T. (face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, and time to call 9-1-1) signs of stroke and acted in a lifesaving manner by dialing 9-1-1 immediately.

While in the hospital, Jay did not need surgery as the AVM resolved itself as it disassembled from the rupture. “After 2 weeks in the hospital and physical therapy, I survived,” Lambert said.

Jay’s recovery required him to relearn a lot of skills, including how to walk. After a month in physical therapy, Jay is fully mobile and recovered.

Unfortunately, Jay’s stroke was not the first stroke experienced by his family.

“It has affected my life greatly. One year prior to me having a stroke my sister had a stroke. So, it has changed me and my family’s lives tremendously and makes me more aware of how important it is to know the signs.”

Now, almost four years after surviving a stroke, Jay enjoys fishing and staying busy with all his nine-year-old son’s activities.

“I’m happy to wake up every day and each day has new meaning. I spend time with my son and family. I feel blessed.”


Share your heart or stroke event with us or join our team as a volunteer.

4 thoughts on “Survivor Story – Jay Lambert

  1. My name is Jo, I’m Jay’ s big sister. I remember that night he had his stroke. I’m so glad Erica called 911 so quickly. I was so pleased with the team of Drs that he had at Johnston Willis. It was life changing to us all. Very thankful, with time, he made a full recovery.

  2. Jay was fortunate to have had someone who quickly noticed the symptoms and got immediate medical assistance.
    My hat is off to his girl friend. She is truly a smart and caring cookie.

Leave a Reply