BY K AT E O ’ N E I L L Stroke Center Team Saves Amelia Bedelia Author Herman Parish The Thunderclap n May of 2014, Herman Parish awoke early one morning with “the worst headache I ever had,” he recalls. Still, he thought he’d get on with his plan for the day: to continue working on Amelia Bedelia Cleans Up. The book was slated to become the latest in the well-loved series created in 1963 by Mr. Parish’s aunt, the late Peggy Parish. Three generations have grown up with tales of Amelia Bedelia, a delightful, literal-minded housekeeper. In 1995, seven years after his aunt’s death, Mr. Parish decided to continue the series, expanding it to reach a wider range of young P O R T R A I T S B Y readers with stories of Amelia growing up as an equally literal, comic, and charming child. He has added 39 stories from picture books to chapter books. But that day’s plan was not to be. When Mr. Parish stood up from bed, the headache exploded with unbearable pain. He collapsed, unconscious and not breathing. A “thunderclap” headache, one that ranks 11 on a scale of one to 10, is often the first symptom of a stroke or brain aneurysm. Luckily, Mr. Parish’s wife, Rosemary, a trained nurse, was nearby. She heard him hit the floor and immediately called 911. J O H N B Y E M E R S O N A V R I L I L L U S T R A T I O N S L Y N N E Robert Wood Johnson I MEDICINE 5