The Miami culinary world was rocked yesterday with the news that Zak Stern, better known as Zak the Baker, suffered a stroke.
The baker, known as much for his smile shining through a thick beard as his bread, posted the news himself on Instagram, accompanied by a photo of the inside of an ambulance:
The 30-year-old Stern was responding to text messages last night but would not disclose the hospital he was admitted to. He did, however, ask for support from his friends and colleagues in Miami.
Stern, who has an infant daughter with wife Batsheva Wulfsohn, mentioned that his health condition is still being evaluated.
The baker is also in the process of expanding his business. In August, Stern announced he would move his Wynwood baking operation from its current location on NW 26th Street to a larger, 7,000-square-foot space just a half-block east, at the former Van Alpert exhibition space. The new space will house the company's bakery as well as a cafe offering coffee and pastries. A month ago, Stern announced that his current space would be transformed into a kosher deli. A health scare could delay plans.
Though strokes are more common in older adults, they can occur at any age. A 2012 New York Times article stated that 10 to 15 percent of strokes occur in people aged 45 or younger, with younger patients often misdiagnosed with vertigo, migraine, seizure, or even alcohol intoxication — and sent home without proper treatment.
The good news is that, in general, the long-term prognosis for people who receive proper diagnosis and care is overwhelmingly positive. A research study registered with the U.S. National Library of Medicine finds that 81 percent of adults younger than 30 years of age who had a stroke could return to work and that the annual incidence of recurrent stroke was low (0.7 percent).
You can wish Zak the Baker a speedy recovery on his Instagram and Facebook pages.