Stroke Awareness: American Stroke Association NJ · RocknRecovery.net · StrokeAwareness.org · Risk Factors (CDC.org) · NJ Stroke Center Hosptials · Donate
On the night of April 2nd, 2014 at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City, the lives of guitarist Karl Cochran, and those around him, was rocked: approximately 10 hours after the show, he suffered a massive stroke.
Cochran, who has played bass for Ace Frehley and guitar for Joe Lynn Turner, taught 75 students, and been a recording artist and songwriter, was aged 50. Though neither smoking, alcohol, nor drugs played any roles in his career, he was given only a 40% chance of surviving his medical crisis.
Strokes are something that most people would think only happens to the older and unhealthy among us, which couldn’t be further from the truth. According to the Centers for Disease Control, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. It hits every age, gender, race, and socioeconomic background. Infants, healthy young adults, can all suffer a stroke — nobody is immune from it.
It looked grim for Karl, needless to say, but the strong-willed guitarist decided that “failure was not an option.” His life is not what it was six years ago, but he continues to sing, plays guitar one-handed, and his joy of life and the desire to create music remains the same. To that, he has added the determination to ensure that the warning signs of stroke becomes common knowledge in an effort to prevent his harsh reality for others.
911 wasn’t called until an hour after Karl Cochran was stricken that horrific night. Despite his repeated expressions of what he was experiencing — sudden severe headache, loss of vision in one eye, one arm feeling very heavy — we just didn’t know.
That’s why it has become the heartfelt mission of the organization RocknRecovery.net to share Karl’s experiences — not only of that night, but also of what we encountered on the long road to recovery. We strive to be a resource on many levels to members of the music community who suffered any type of hardship.