‘I’m So Grateful My Wife Knew the Signs’: NC Attorney General Josh Stein Suffers ‘Mild Stroke’

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein at a 2016 event for Gov. Roy Cooper. Stein said he is "thankful" to be recovering after a mild stroke this week. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)

By Michael McElroy

May 24, 2022

North Carolina is located in what’s known as the “stroke belt” of the country. Here are some common symptoms to look out for.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is recovering after a “mild stroke” he had Monday evening while walking his dog, he said. 

His wife, Anna, recognized the symptoms, Stein said on Twitter, and insisted he go to the hospital.

Doctors removed a small blood-clot, Stein said, and though he may stay in the hospital another day or two for observation, he was feeling better. 

“I’m feeling back to normal now and am beyond blessed to have no lingering effects,” Stein, 55,  wrote. 

“I also want to thank the EMTs for transporting me and the medical staff for their care. I have a tremendous amount to be thankful for this morning.”

Stein, the state’s top legal official, has had a busy few months, announcing key initiatives to increase the number of nurses trained to treat sexual assault victims, reaching a huge settlement with opioid manufacturers to help pay for treatment and recovery of those with addictions, and launching an effort to hold companies responsible for illegal robo calls. 

“My doctor wants me to stay here for another day or two to get some rest before I get back to work,” Stein tweeted.

He also said he was grateful that his wife knew the signs and symptoms of a stroke: “Anna is my hero.”

He then posted a link to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance on stroke symptoms.

Stroke Is a Leading Cause of Death in NC
“During a stroke, every minute counts! Fast treatment can lessen the brain damage that stroke can cause,” the CDC says.

Strokes are a major cause of death in North Carolina.

“We live in a part of the country known as the stroke belt,” Dr. Charles H. Tegeler IV writes for Atrium Health. 

“Which means that for reasons no one understands, the incidence of stroke and death from stroke are higher in North Carolina and 10 other southern states than in any other part of the country. In the U.S., the death rate from stroke is about 49 deaths per 100,000 of population. The rate in North Carolina is 57, and in some counties it’s more than 100.”

The key to a positive outcome, health officials say, is recognizing the symptoms and getting immediate help.

“During a stroke, every minute counts! Fast treatment can lessen the brain damage that stroke can cause,” the CDC says.

Here are the most common stroke symptoms:

  • sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech.
  • sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination.
  • sudden severe headache with no known cause.


  • Michael McElroy

    Michael McElroy is Cardinal & Pine's political correspondent. He is an adjunct instructor at UNC-Chapel Hill's Hussman School of Journalism and Media, and a former editor at The New York Times.

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