Yael Alkalay was a Columbia University grad student enjoying a ski vacation, when suddenly, the 20-something couldn’t speak.
She couldn’t move her right hand. Or her right arm.
It was “like being fully aware but totally trapped in my body,” recalled Alkalay, a 1986 New Bedford High School alum.
An ambulance took her to a hospital in Grenoble. She was flown to Boston, where it was determined that a tear in her carotid artery released plaque into her brain and caused a stroke. It was “caused by a combination of being at high-altitude and the length of my neck,” she said.
But the stroke was a life-changing moment in more ways the one:
It sparked Alkalay’s idea for her business, Red Flower: an all-natural, toxin-free, vegan self-care beauty and home lifestyle company.