15She Was Almost Stopped Before She Started

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College is widely considered one of the most important times in a young adult’s life, with no shortage of experiences that monumentally shape the person you become. For Plaza, unfortunately, this meant surviving a serious health scare. In 2004, during a comedy improv class at New York University’s Tisch School

of the Arts Plaza suffered a stroke, that left her temporarily paralyzed, as well as with expressive aphasia.

After being discharged from the hospital, she returned home to Delaware where she attacked her recovery, undergoing extensive speech therapy, and battling endless anxiety attacks. And at the end of the summer, despite her parent’s urging otherwise, she returned to work, ready to move on with her life. When talking about the experience, Plaza said

"It was one of the scariest things that has happened, but it never felt as if it was keeping me from doing anything. If anything, it made me more aggressive about getting things that I want. Maybe subconsciously I was feeling it was… not a near-death experience, but it put things in perspective."

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