Carvin G. Haggins - Stroke Survivor

Updated:Oct 28,2013

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Worldwide, one in six people will have a stroke in their lifetime and stroke claims a life every six seconds.

On World Stroke Day, October 29, 2013, we invite you to stand in solidarity with us and learn F.A.S.T. to remember the stroke warning signs. Let’s come together on World Stroke Day and beyond to raise awareness that stroke is largely preventable, treatable and beatable.  Find out more at www.strokeassociation.org


Read how a Philadelphia native, dealt with and overcame his stroke.

Carvin G. Haggins: Grammy Award-winning songwriter, producer and stroke survivor

 Carvin G. Haggins, one half of the Grammy-award winning production duo that comprises Karma Productions, is nothing if not driven. Knowing that he was destined for a career in the music industry, he was determined not to let anything get in the way. Not even the stroke he suffered at age 19.Carvin Haggins photo
As he recalls, the day started out like any other, but the nighttime took a turn he could never have anticipated. Asleep on the couch, his brother’s ringing pager jarred him out of a sound sleep. Immediately afterward, the phone rang. Annoyed, Carvin stood up in a lurch and fell down straightaway.
“I hit my head on the guitar amp, but didn’t feel any pain. And I knew I should have been feeling something. That’s when I knew something was wrong,” he remembers. “I tried to get up, but nothing on my body worked. I had to try an alternate way to get up by using my left arm to pull myself up off the floor.”
He made his way to the couch, all the while wondering why his right side was numb. He knew something was “out of whack” but couldn’t pinpoint it. So what he did was attribute the tingling sensation to the fact that he slept in the wrong position. He attempted to get comfortable — still using only one arm to reposition himself — and lay back down, thinking everything would be ok when he woke up.
He said, “I was still for about 30 seconds when I finally admitted that I shouldn’t be in this situation [at 19]. I woke up my brother, Kevin, and said ‘Something’s wrong’ and he flew into a panic thinking it was my asthma.” But Carvin calmed Kevin down and asked him to call 9-1-1.
When he found out he’d had a stroke, his initial reaction was “How do we fix it?” Getting better took precedence over the question of ‘Why?’ While recuperating, a visit from his father seemed to be all the inspiration he needed. He encouraged him to try to squeeze a ball he’d brought with him. And every few hours, Carvin had more and more movement and was able to leave the hospital earlier than doctors anticipated.
Three years later in 1991, Carvin found himself mingling with hip-hop royalty in the form of DJ Jazzy Jeff and landing a producer title at A Touch of Jazz Recording Studio where his music made its way onto the soundtracks of The Nutty Professor II, Love Jones, Rush Hour 2 and Wild Wild West. In his 20 plus years in the music industry, this Philadelphia native has written hit songs for artists such as Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Chris Brown, Faith Evans, Justin Timberlake, Raheem DeVaughn and Musiq Soulchild. The stroke he suffered in 1988 is ostensibly something he will never forget, but also something that he never wanted to be an obstacle. “When it happened, I couldn’t allow myself to mope. And today, when I tell my story, it’s to demonstrate that all things are possible through God.”

For more information about the signs and risk factors for stroke, visit www.strokeassociation.org .