Yonkers teen casts ballot despite recovering from stroke

YONKERS, Westchester County (WABC) -- A Yonkers teenager overcame a serious health challenge to successfully cast a vote in her first election Tuesday.

Eighteen-year-old Amoonthays Khrisat Velazquez, who is recovering from a stroke, made the trip via ambulette from Blythedale Children's Hospital in Valhalla.

Last month, Velazquez, a freshman at Westchester Community College, suffered a ruptured arteriovenous malformation -- bleeding in the brain caused by damaged blood vessels.

The incident affected her vision and weakened the left side of her body, but Velazquez was determined to vote despite undergoing intensive rehabilitation.

"As a US citizen, you have the right to vote," she said. "This isn't going to stop me."

Not surprisingly, Velazquez says the issue most important to her is where candidates stand on healthcare.

"I don't want the cost of my recovery to impact my mom or me in the long run," she said.

Staffers at Blythedale assisted during the trip from the hospital to the polling location in Yonkers.

"She's just an incredible young woman," social worker Jessica Ritchie said. "Some people would give up, but she's completely the opposite. She's never been more motivated to get back on her feet, get back to her life."

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