NEW YORK (PIX11) — A stroke can happen to anyone at almost any age. Fifteen percent of stroke victims are between the age of 18 to 55, and it can strike without warning. That’s exactly what happened to Scott McPartland. He managed to capture the life-threatening moment on camera.

When it comes to facing dangerous weather conditions, McPartland is ready for just about anything. He works full time as a day trader, but his hobby is chasing storms.

As a storm chaser, the 50-year-old Queens resident takes calculated risks to track various types of natural disasters from tornadoes to blizzards and tropical cyclones. He follows them and gathers data along the way, often risking his life for the perfect shot. Most recently he traveled to Florida to follow Hurricane Ian, one of the biggest storms in the nation’s history, on his 50th birthday.

But four months earlier on May 18, he inadvertently documented a different type of life-threatening event.

“I was vacuuming my home. I thought I was having an anxiety attack at first,” he said.

It turned out he was having a stroke. He was able to get up 20 seconds later and manage to walk down a flight of stairs to his wife for help.

“He was trying to communicate, and he wasn’t making sense, and I knew OK, that’s really wrong,” said wife Cecelia.

A stroke happens when there is a blood clot that blocks the artery inside the brain. With no oxygen getting to his brain, time is of the essence. After 15 minutes, help arrived.

Doctors say when someone has a stroke, there can be some underlying causes. So, they had to do some detective work. After performing several tests, they found that McPartland had a heart defect. Heart defects are more common than you think.

“It may sound alarming, but one and four normal people walking on the street systematically may have this condition,” said Avneet Singh, interventional cardiologist at Northwell Health.

Singh explained that everyone has a patent foramen ovale (PFO). When a baby is inside the mother’s womb, oxygenated blood is able to travel from the right side of the heart to the left side through the mom because the baby’s lungs aren’t open yet. After birth, three out of babies who have a PFO would close. One out of four go on living with the defect. The latter is exactly what happened in McPartland’s case.

Prior to correcting the defect, McPartland received clot-dissolving medicine called TPA to relieve the clot within an hour of the stroke onset. Later, doctors were able to plug the hole in his heart using a catheter to insert a device called Nitinol, which is made of nickel and titanium alloy and never has to be replaced.

Now McPartland has a clean bill of health and is back doing what he loves, chasing storms.