SHOWS: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES.
(MAY 1, 2019)(REUTERS-ACCESS ALL) 1.
(SOUNDBITE)(English) MICHAEL JOHNSON SAYING "The only symptoms I have are just some numbness still on the left side of my hand and my left pinky finger and some numbness on the bottom of my foot but other than that I'm back to running, not as fast as when I was competing in the Olympics but I wasn't running that fast before the stroke either, but I'm back to all of my previous activities.
I've always been a very active person participating in lots of physical activity and being very physically active and I'm back there running on the track a few miles a day a couple of days a week and so I'm back to normal and back to exactly where I was before." STORY: Olympic Gold medalist and one of the fastest humans of all time, Michael Johnson says he is the last person he thought would suffer a stroke and and the experience has prompted him to help raise awareness of the warning signs and ways to prevent stroke in others.
Last year Johnson, who has remained physically active during his post Olympic career, recalls feeling discomfort in his left leg, numbness in his left arm and trouble with balance.
He was able to take himself to the emergency room at a nearby hospital and immediately began having increased difficulty walking or standing.
Luckily, Johnson was treated by a team of specialists and began months of rehab including physical and occupational therapy.
Doctors credit his current recovery to the fact that he sought help immediately.
He says he approached his recovery with the same intensity and dedication he had chasing Olympic and world records.
Stroke can happen to anyone at any time and occurs when blood flow to an area of brain is cut off.
Johnson says he feels like he is back to normal functioning and activity but does have lingering numbness in one finger and on the bottom of one foot.
He is currently partnered with the American Stroke Association and spoke to Reuters in conjunction with a current campaign to educate people on stroke prevention.
(Production: Peter Bullock)