Spokane teen recovering from stroke - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane teen recovering from stroke

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18-year-old McKenzie Capka suffered a large stroke. 18-year-old McKenzie Capka suffered a large stroke.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A Spokane teenager is in a fight for her life after suffering a stroke.

It was the last thing McKenzie Capka's family expected to happen to their 18-year-old daughter during her freshman year of college at the University of Montana.

On February 20, everyone knew McKenzie Capka was feeling sick. But her dad got concerned when he put some money in her account and didn't hear back.

"Usually within three seconds, 'Hey thanks Dad keep it coming!' that type of thing, and I tried to call. An hour later didn't reach her and tried again, texted her one more time and said 'Hey are you there?' Nothing," said McKenzie's dad Mike Capka.

McKenzie's friends also knew she hadn't been feeling well that week.

"At dinner she kind of would get headaches and then she mentioned, I kind of forgot about this throughout the whole process, that she was losing sight in her left eye. Very occasionally I remembered that afterwards, and that would have been a sure sign of something being wrong," said friend Emily Hake.

When no one could get in touch with McKenzie, her friends went to her dorm.

"When they opened the door to her room and we found her in her bed it was really, really shocking because we weren't expecting that at all," said Hake.

McKenzie was breathing, but she couldn't talk or move. Her friends called her family back in Spokane.

"I was thinking all kinds of terrible things. You know was she a victim of some sort of foul play? But I was not thinking about a stroke at that time at all," said Mike Capka.

But that's what happened. At 18 years old McKenzie had a stroke. Her family relied on prayer.

"You know Lord if you want her, thank you for the 18 years that we've had her, but we would love to have her a lot longer," said Kim Palmer, McKenzie's mother.

McKenzie's family got in the car and rushed to Missoula. Doctors weren't sure if she'd make it.

"He was very serious he said 'Your daughter's had a very large stroke. It's a big one, It's very serious.' He said it could very well end her life," said Mike Capka.

The swelling in McKenzie's brain was getting out of control. Days later, she was flown to Spokane and admitted to Providence Sacred Heart. Friends and family camped out during McKenzie's emergency surgery.

"We just started sending out the prayer requests to our friends on Facebook and texts just saying we need a miracle here," said Mike Capka.

A miracle happened. McKenzie's surgery was successful.

"She started to say some words, and she's smiling, she recognizes her friends," said Mike Capka.

Her friends now have tattoos to show their support. An evergreen for continuous growth and a moon to reflect God's love.

"I showed her I said 'I think I'm going to get it right here, Kenzie' and she looked at me and said 'Really?' She gave me that teenager look like seriously Dad? Are you really going to do this?" said Mike Capka.

As McKenzie continues to recover, her family says they're grateful for the support.

"It's just been an amazing, terrible yet wonderful experience to see how much people care about Kenzie and our family," said Mike Capka.

GoFundMe link: “Kenzie Stroke Recovery” http://www.gofundme.com/ne3hzs

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