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Willis high school athlete suffers stroke in class, revealing serious health condition

Mazlyn Heyer nearly lost her life while suffering a stroke during school. Now months later, she's back on the field helping the Willis Wildkats in the UIL playoffs.

WILLIS, Texas — The UIL Softball playoffs are underway and the Willis Wildkats are still alive for the state championship.

But still alive has a different meaning for one Willis players who's thankful she can say that about herself.

The sounds of a softball practice mean a lot more these days for Mazlyn Heyer.

The girl that everyone calls 'Mazzy' lives for softball. But 14 months ago, softball was taken away from her while sitting in an English class.

"Some things started to go the absolute worst way possible," Heyer said. "The whole left side of my body got numb. And that was honestly scary and really terrifying."

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Heyer has always battled migraines her whole life, but a trip to the hospital revealed she was having a stroke.

More tests then revealed she suffered from a brain arteriovenous malformation or AVM.

"The doctor saw that it was such an aggressive malformation and that it was in a weird part of the brain," Heyer said. "They needed to map through it and dissect exactly what they needed to in order for me to have as much of my brain left as they could."

The complicated surgery was a success, but then Heyer began an extensive rehab process.

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"I had to learn how to walk, talk, write my name, tie my shoes," Heyer said.

Going through the rehab process at 14 years old was confidence draining for Heyer, but she knew once she could play softball again, that she would never look back.

"The first game I came back, it was like I was able to live again," Heyer said.

As for the future outside of softball, Heyer says she hopes to become a doctor to one day help young people like her overcome the challenges they face.

"I'm really content with playing," Heyer said. "And that God gave me a right to come back and do something with it."

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