IRVINE, March 9, 2023 – An Orange County area resident is a finalist for the American Stroke Association’s Stroke Hero Voters’ Choice Award and needs votes from the community to win. Easton Gaouette, age 5, is one of 10 national finalists and is hoping to be named Stroke Hero. He is representing the markets of Orange County, Inland Empire and the Coachella Valley.

“Easton has overcome significant hurdles but has many more challenges to overcome,” said Brittney Aquino, Easton’s mom. “We hope that Easton’s journey and our family's experience can help to educate, inspire, and bring awareness to perinatal and pediatric stroke.”

The award honors individuals and groups in the stroke community from around the U.S. who have shown resilience and outstanding progress in their stroke journey. Easton's adversity over multiple perinatal strokes before and at birth is exemplary of a Stroke Hero. Despite the challenges he has faced as a result of his strokes, Easton approaches each day with determination, positivity, enthusiasm, and strength, which serves as the ultimate inspiration to his family, friends, classmates, and acquaintances. Easton's perseverance has taught those who know him to appreciate and acknowledge the beauty in being a survivor.

Finalists for the Stroke Hero Awards are now competing for the Voters’ Choice Award. The public may vote at now through March 22.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the U.S. [1]. Those who have had a stroke often must overcome physical, emotional and cognitive changes to move forward. To do so requires strength and support.

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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.   


About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is a relentless force for a world with fewer strokes and longer, healthier lives. We team with millions of volunteers and donors to ensure equitable health and stroke care in all communities. We work to prevent, treat and beat stroke by funding innovative research, fighting for the public’s health, and providing lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based association was created in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


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[1] C W Tsao; et al Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2023 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association Circulation. 2023; 147:e00–e00. DOI: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000001123