We’ve all seen or heard commercials from the American Stroke Association (ASA) encouraging people who suspect they might be having a stroke to call 9-1-1 right away, because “time lost is brain lost.”. Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 130,000 people a year. That’s one in every 20 deaths, according to the ASA. But even if you survive a stroke, you are not even close to being out of the woods.