Pauley Perrette is sharing a health update after revealing she suffered a massive stroke last year.
The NCIS alum, 53, says she's "super healthy" after the health scare, hoping to raise awareness about strokes and how they occur at any age.
"I am doing great and am super healthy now," Perrette tells PEOPLE in a statement. "I want to thank everyone for their concern and take this opportunity to really plead for everyone to educate themselves on the signs of a stroke and the importance of getting medical help immediately."
"Also that you can have a stroke AT ANY AGE, which I did not know. Teenagers can have a stroke," she adds. "Let's all learn from this and take good care of ourselves and others."
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In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Perrette recounted the terrifying stroke and how it happened.
"I woke up and had no feeling on the entire right side of my body," she told the outlet. "At first I thought I had just slept funny. When I kept realizing the extent of the numbness; couldn't feel my finger touching my face, couldn't feel my face being touched by my finger, couldn't feel my laptop sitting on my lap, no feeling at all on the right hand side - I could have burned myself or cut my finger off and wouldn't have known - I called my doctor and he said, 'GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM IMMEDIATELY.'"
Perrette said she was hesitant to follow her doctor's advice and wanted to wait until speaking to her therapist, who is also a neurologist, before making a decision. However her doctor urged her to go to the ER immediately because "if she lived until 5 p.m., which he said was doubtful," her neurologist would give her the same advice.
"Walked into the ER and said, 'Hey, I can't feel the right hand side of my body and…' BAM! OMG! I was on a gurney with a million things stuck in my arms and a bunch of medical people rushing me somewhere," she recalled. "They know how serious a stroke is and how immediate care is imperative."
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Perrette told ET that after being admitted to the hospital, her speech and mobility was checked. Although she's "totally OK now" because she sought immediate medical care, she still faced months of "lingering effects."
The actress first revealed she suffered a stroke last week, sharing on social media that she's "still a survivor after this traumatic life I've been given so far" and is grateful to be here.
In an accompanying video, Perrette alluded to her past health scares, including being hospitalized for a 2014 hair dye allergy during her NCIS run, as well as an incident one year later in which she was attacked by a homeless man.
"Yes, I'm still here again, like how many times do I cheat death?" she said in the video. "Really grateful, I'm still here, I feel good, been through a lot in the last three years … and I'm still grateful. Thank you, those of you who are my friends, thank you."