Choir rehearsal may have saved her life thanks to alert fellow choir member

Marilyn Roseboro

Choir rehearsal may have saved her life thanks to alert fellow choir member
October 19
13:48 2022

“During choir rehearsal at First Waughtown Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, I had been feeling some tingling, but I didn’t know what that meant. I really did not know the signs of a stroke, other than maybe twisting of the mouth or sometimes, not being able to speak, or having slurred speech,” said Marilyn Roseboro. “My mother had suffered three strokes before she passed, but the only symptom she noticed was that her leg felt like it was asleep. My symptoms were completely different.

“Fortunately, Mrs. Mary Carter, a fellow choir member who was standing next to me, noticed that my face was drooping and made sure that 911 was called. I thankfully got to the hospital in time so that most of the major damage was averted,” shared Marilyn.

Her stroke was caused by a blood clot. Then in June 2016, she came off her blood thinner for two days to prepare for a medical procedure. She had the procedure in the morning and her second stroke in the afternoon.

“I was eating, or so I thought, and I realized I put food in my mouth with my right hand, but I wasn’t chewing anything. I looked down and saw that the food had actually fallen out of my mouth. I thought ‘okay, clean this up – I don’t know what’s going on, but clean this up’ and that’s when I realized that my left hand didn’t work at all. I should have called 911, but I called a neighbor, Mrs. Deborah Washington, a fellow church member, and told her something was wrong. I didn’t know what it was, but I needed her to take me to the hospital. By the time she rushed over, my speech was slurring,” recalled Marilyn.

“I got to the hospital again in record time, and I was able to get treated,” said Marilyn. Although people often tell her they can’t tell she has suffered strokes, she recognizes challenges that make it more difficult for her to do some of the things she used to do, like remembering things, recalling words, and using fine motor skills. “I consider myself kind of differently-abled now and I am truly blessed that there are so many things I can still do,” shared Marilyn. 

After suffering both strokes, Marilyn relies on her faith in God, and her education and awareness she learned about the facts regarding the impact of heart disease and stroke among African Americans. 

African American women are actually twice as likely to have a stroke. Black women are also more likely to experience more severe strokes or suffer repeat strokes. Leading by example, Marilyn helps facilitate events that educate her church members and community members regarding the impact of heart disease and stroke.

The American Heart Association is encouraging all congregations to join the Triad Pastors Network, which is located in the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity, at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. The Triad Pastors Network has come together to walk at the Winston-Salem Heart and Stroke Walk on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 1 p.m. 

The American Heart Association’s Winston-Salem Heart and Stroke Walk will take place at Bailey Park in Downtown Winston-Salem on Sunday, Oct. 23. The fun begins at 1 p.m. with the Mascot Dance-Off, Kid’s Zone, Puparazzi Parade, DJ, healthy cooking demos, and free blood pressure screenings. Sponsored by Healthy for Good Sponsors Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist and MedCost, and Forsyth Life is Why Sponsor Novant Health, the 1-, 2- or 4-mile downtown walk begins at 2 p.m. Register to join in the fun at If you would like to join the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity Walk Team, call 336-713-7600 for assistance. 

For more information about the American Heart Association’s Pastor’s Network, email


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