Writer-director John Singleton has been hospitalized and is in an intensive care unit after suffering a stroke on Wednesday, his family said in a statement Saturday.
“On Wednesday, April 17th our beloved son/father, John Singleton, suffered a stroke while at the hospital,” the statement read. “John is currently in the ICU and under great medical care. We ask that privacy be given to him and our family at this time and appreciate all of the prayers that have been pouring in from his fans, friends and colleagues.”
The two-time Oscar nominee for “Boyz n the Hood” suffered a “mild” stroke after checking into a hospital this week after feeling ill following a trip to Costa Rica, a family member told TMZ.
Singleton, 51, who became the first African American and the youngest person to receive an Oscar nomination for directing for his 1991 debut “Boyz n the Hood,” most recently worked as co-creator and director on the FX series “Snowfall.”
Following his breakout “Boyz n the Hood,” Singleton went on to direct such films as “Poetic Justice” (1993) with Tupac Shakur and Janet Jackson, the 2000 “Shaft” reboot starring Samuel L. Jackson, “2 Fast 2 Furious” (2003) and the 2005 crime thriller “Four Brothers” starring Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson, André Benjamin and Garrett Hedlund.
More recently, the USC Film School alum has worked in television, directing episodes of series such as “Empire,” “American Crime Story” and “Billions.”
He co-created the FX series “Snowfall,” which follows the rise of the crack cocaine epidemic in 1980s Los Angeles. The show, which premiered in 2017, is due to launch its third season this fall.
News of his health condition sparked an outpouring from well-wishers on social media. “Prayers up Ya’ll. I just woke up & heard director John Singleton had a stroke,” music star P.M. Dawn tweeted. “We still need you Sir, please fight it & bounce back.”
Snoop Dogg added via Instagram, “Pray 4 my brother.”
Watch below Singleton talk about Michael Jackson and more with TheWrap Executive Editor Tim Molloy at TheGrill 2017.
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die.
A stroke is a medical emergency. Prompt treatment is crucial. Early action can minimize brain damage and potential complications.
The good news is that strokes can be treated and prevented, and many fewer Americans die of stroke now than in the past.
Watch for these signs and symptoms if you think you or someone else may be having a stroke. Pay attention to when the signs and symptoms begin. The length of time they have been present can affect your treatment options:
- Trouble with speaking and understanding.
- Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg.
- over your head at the same time.
- Trouble with seeing in one or both eyes.
- Trouble with walking.
Stroke: When to see a doctor
Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any signs or symptoms of a stroke, even if they seem to fluctuate or disappear. Think “FAST” and do the following:
- Face. Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
- Arms. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Or is one arm unable to rise up?
- Speech. Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is his or her speech slurred or strange?
A stroke may be caused by a blocked artery (ischemic stroke) or the leaking or bursting of a blood vessel (hemorrhagic stroke). Some people may experience only a temporary disruption of blood flow to the brain (transient ischemic attack, or TIA) that doesn’t cause permanent damage.
About 80 percent of strokes are ischemic strokes. Ischemic strokes occur when the arteries to your brain become narrowed or blocked, causing severely reduced blood flow (ischemia). The most common ischemic strokes include:
A thrombotic stroke occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one of the arteries that supply blood to your brain. A clot may be caused by fatty deposits (plaque) that build up in arteries and cause reduced blood flow (atherosclerosis) or other artery conditions.
An embolic stroke occurs when a blood clot or other debris forms away from your brain — commonly in your heart — and is swept through your bloodstream to lodge in narrower brain arteries. This type of blood clot is called an embolus.
Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in your brain leaks or ruptures. Brain hemorrhages can result from many conditions that affect your blood vessels. These include:
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension)
- Overtreatment with anticoagulants (blood thinners)
- Weak spots in your blood vessel walls (aneurysms)
Stroke: Risk Factors
Many factors can increase your stroke risk. Some factors can also increase your chances of having a heart attack. Potentially treatable stroke risk factors include:
- Lifestyle risk factors
- Being overweight or obese
- Physical inactivity
- Heavy or binge drinking
- Use of illicit drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamines
Medical risk factors
- Blood pressure readings higher than 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg)
- Cigarette smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke
- High cholesterol
- bstructive sleep apnea
- Cardiovascular disease, including heart failure, heart defects, heart infection or abnormal heart rhythm
- Personal or family history of stroke, heart attack or transient ischemic attack.
Other factors associated with a higher risk of stroke include:
- Age —People age 55 or older have a higher risk of stroke than do younger people.
- Race — African-Americans have a higher risk of stroke than do people of other races.
- Sex — Men have a higher risk of stroke than women. Women are usually older when they have strokes, and they’re more likely to die of strokes than are men.
- Hormones — use of birth control pills or hormone therapies that include estrogen, as well as increased estrogen levels from pregnancy and childbirth.
- A stroke can sometimes cause temporary or permanent disabilities, depending on how long the brain lacks blood flow and which part was affected.
Knowing your stroke risk factors, following your doctor’s recommendations and adopting a healthy lifestyle are the best steps you can take to prevent a stroke. If you’ve had a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA), these measures might help prevent another stroke. The follow-up care you receive in the hospital and afterward also may play a role as well.
Many stroke prevention strategies are the same as strategies to prevent heart disease. In general, healthy lifestyle recommendations include:
- Controlling high blood pressure (hypertension). This is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your stroke risk. If you’ve had a stroke, lowering your blood pressure can help prevent a subsequent TIA or stroke.
- Exercising, managing stress, maintaining a healthy weight and limiting the amount of sodium and alcohol you eat and drink can all help to keep high blood pressure in check. In addition to recommending lifestyle changes, your doctor may prescribe medications to treat high blood pressure.
- Lowering the amount of cholesterol and saturated fat in your diet. Eating less cholesterol and fat, especially saturated fat and trans fats, may reduce the plaque in your arteries. If you can’t control your cholesterol through dietary changes alone, your doctor may prescribe a cholesterol-lowering medication.
- Quitting tobacco use. Smoking raises the risk of stroke for smokers and nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke. Quitting tobacco use reduces your risk of stroke.
- Controlling diabetes. You can manage diabetes with diet, exercise, weight control and medication.
- Maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight contributes to other stroke risk factors, such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Losing as little as 10 pounds may lower your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol levels.
- Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. A diet containing five or more daily servings of fruits or vegetables may reduce your risk of stroke. Following the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes olive oil, fruit, nuts, vegetables and whole grains, may be helpful.
- Exercising regularly. Aerobic or “cardio” exercise reduces your risk of stroke in many ways. Exercise can lower your blood pressure, increase your level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and improve the
- overall health of your blood vessels and heart. It also helps you lose weight, control diabetes and reduce stress. Gradually work up to 30 minutes of activity — such as walking, jogging, swimming or bicycling — on most, if not all, days of the week.
- Drinking alcohol in moderation, if at all. Alcohol can be both a risk factor and a protective measure for stroke. Heavy alcohol consumption increases your risk of high blood pressure, ischemic strokes and hemorrhagic strokes. However, drinking small to moderate amounts of alcohol, such as one drink a day, may help prevent ischemic stroke and decrease your blood’s clotting tendency. Alcohol may also interact with other drugs you’re taking. Talk to your doctor about what’s appropriate for you.
- Treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Your doctor may recommend an overnight oxygen assessment to screen for OSA — a sleep disorder in which the oxygen level intermittently drops during the night.
- Treatment for OSA includes oxygen at night or wearing a small device in your mouth to help you breathe.
- Avoiding illegal drugs. Certain street drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamines, are established risk factors for a TIA or a stroke. Cocaine reduces blood flow and can narrow the arteries.