Did you ever see the footage of Serene Branson? She’s a reporter for CBS Los Angeles. She was at the Grammys in 2011 reporting live on television when she stopped being able to speak. She appeared to be having a stroke. They cut the live feed and took her to the emergency room. Medical professionals confirmed that she was having a migraine, not a stroke, and it had affected her speech.
I have had this same phenomena happen to me before. I could have felt it coming on hours before but then suddenly, in the bright lights and the stress of working I felt the migraine arrive. The words didn’t come out of my mouth right. I would quit talking because what was coming out sounded like nonsense. But what if you were a reporter and had to keep speaking?
Because it happened to a beautiful young reporter on live television, this migraine got a lot of attention. Many articles and news clips emerged discussing the incident with her or an expert.
This symptom of migraine is usually classified as being part of a migraine aura, or a symptom of hemiparesis – weakness in half of the body from hemiplegic migraines.
If you’ve experienced similar symptoms, it is important to talk with your neurologist about them. If you haven’t seen the video, here it is. Ms. Branson has bounced back from this episode to become a strong public proponent for migraine awareness.
You can read an interview with Ms. Branson in the winter 2012 issue of HeadWise magazine: