From strokes to punches: a Lexington woman's battle against heart disease

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The "Power Hour" at Title Boxing Club, is almost literally a knock out.

"Yes, it is," admitted Kallye Johns.

But in a class full of sweaty boxers, digging deep for one more swing, is a true fighter.

"Five times I couldn't walk. I couldn't even move, you know, wiggle my toes, hold my daughter or husband's hands," said Jesi Bowman who has overcome five strokes in a 25 month period.

"My life changed five different times."

During that difficult time, she had to face some challenging questions.

"Will I be able to walk to my car or hold my daughter's hands?" Bowman described of her doubt.

Just as in boxing, she kept getting up and she kept swinging.

"I accept the challenges and face fear head on," answered Bowman, "I focused on small victories."

Those small victories brought her here, to the "Power Hour," sweating, punching, and smiling.

"Really celebrating life and health. And today, I'm 2 years stroke free," she grinned.

Bowman says it took a village to help her overcome her battles and on this celebratory night, "A lot of my village is here."

Standing by her, swinging away.

"Every day is a gift to Jesi, that's for sure. You can tell in everything she does and how she treats people," said Johns.

Jesi Bowman may only be punching a bag for cardio, but she knows the real fight happens when the gloves are off.

"I took it out on that punching bag today and it feels amazing," she boasted.

Even now, Bowman is an advocate for others fighting strokes and heart disease, she said she cheers them on to stay strong and focus on the small victories. For others, she encourages them to know the warning signs of heart disease and strokes and to not ignore them.

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