Real PBA story:

Sequena, stroke survivor with PBA

Sequena, a patient with Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA)
Sequena, a patient with Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA)

Proof that there is no age requirement for PBA

At the age of 29, Sequena gave birth to her third child. Following the delivery, she suffered a massive stroke and then began experiencing uncontrollable crying episodes. This wasn’t something she or her family were prepared for. “It was a lot of crying, and it would be happy moments, sad moments, any moments. I didn’t know why.”

Her recovery from the stroke proved to be extremely difficult. “I was treated differently, too, because of my handicap placard and the way I looked.” Since Sequena was a young mother that appeared to be able-bodied, oftentimes people made incorrect assumptions about her health. Once, Sequena and her husband went to the movies and encountered an older couple who shamed her for parking in a handicap space. “With stuff like that, it would upset me and trigger a crying episode. So, then I’d just want to go home and be alone.”

Sequena, a patient with Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA)

Besides my family, I didn’t want to be around people at all. When the baby was at daycare and my older kids were in school, I spent a lot of time alone.


The relief of getting a diagnosis

Sequena experienced her uncontrollable crying episodes for months while also taking care of her newborn baby. Then, one evening, she and her husband saw a TV commercial about PBA. “It gave me chills because I saw it and I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s me.’” She made plans to see her psychiatrist, who diagnosed her with PBA.

Her oldest daughter, Liyah—who was 10 years old when Sequena had the stroke—proved to be a huge help as she became old enough to assist with various tasks around the house and with her younger siblings. “She was a very big help. I felt like she had to grow up a little faster than I wanted her to.” In the event Sequena’s husband couldn’t make a healthcare appointment, Liyah would be there to support her mom.

Sequena, a patient with Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA) and her daughter, Liyah

You have to know your body. I’ve learned now to let my doctor know anything different that I’m feeling.


Sequena feels passionately about sharing her unique story of overcoming so many health obstacles at a young age. “I have come so far,” she said. “I had to go through different things to get to the right thing—my PBA diagnosis.”

See what living with PBA was like for Sequena and her daughter Liyah

Sequena is a patient and has been compensated.