GREAT FALLS – There were countless inspiring stories at the Special Olympics Montana State Summer Games in Great Falls, but Sunburst athlete Jordan Bludworth provided one of the best.
It happened Friday, while Jordan and her mother Corinne Hjelt were walking from the staging area at Swarthout Fieldhouse to the track at Memorial Stadium.
Bludworth, who was born with Down syndrome and has a rare cerebrovascular disorder known as Moyamoya disease, suffered a mini stroke also called a transient ischemic attack. A TIA is a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain which can often lead to a full blown stroke.
Hjelt was able to help Jordan to the track and find her a place to sit, and immediately scratched her from her race. But Jordan, though clearly in pain and discomfort, had other plans.
“As I kneeled in front of my crying girl, she totally rallied,” Hjelt wrote in a Facebook post. “She told me not to scratch her. That she wanted to try.”
With assistance from her mother, Jordan limped out to the starting line and with encouragement from teammates and spectators, she was determined to finish the 50 meter walking race. And she did.
“She crossed that finish line, shedding a few tears,” Hjelt said.
Shortly after she finished the race, Hjelt drove her daughter to the emergency room at Benefis for tests. After five hours at the hospital, Jordan was cleared to go home and rest.
“She still has residual pain and she’s limping,” said Hjelt. “But she’s very happy to be home!”
Home safe and sound after putting her spirit, heart and courage on display.