Craig Northcutt Choctaw Nation Photo

Craig Northcutt, Choctaw Nation tribal member and associate, proudly holds his Stroke Hero Award trophy. He was honored for his dedication to educating, inspiring, and bringing awareness about strokes.

Northcutt Honored with National Survivor Hero Award for Remarkable Recovery from Stroke

Published May 30, 2024

DURANT, Okla. – Craig Northcutt, Choctaw Nation tribal member and associate, suffered a stroke when he was thrown from his ATV 12 years ago. American Stroke Association (ASA) is honoring him this May for Stroke Awareness Month for his dedication to educating, inspiring, and bringing awareness about strokes.

“It is an honor and a blessing to receive the 2024 Survivor Hero award. First and foremost, I thank God for granting the strength and ability to overcome a traumatic brain injury and an ischemic stroke,” says Northcutt. “I’d like to dedicate this honor and inspire all the people who have or are recovering from a life-changing situation or circumstance from any type of stroke to keep walking and moving forward.”

The ATV accident left Northcutt with a traumatic brain injury that led to an ischemic stroke, posing a severe threat to his life. His friend James, who was with him, was able to call 911 and perform CPR until paramedics arrived and Northcutt was airlifted to the hospital, where he received an emergency craniotomy.

Despite facing immense physical and cognitive challenges in the aftermath of the accident, Northcutt underwent intensive neurorehabilitation and learned to walk and talk again. He has not only returned to his work with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, where he assists tribal members in developing career skills and finding employment, he actively advocates for ATV safety, emphasizing the importance of wearing helmets to prevent life-altering injuries.

“I am thrilled and overjoyed for Craig as he receives this well-deserved recognition,” says Gary Batton, Chief of the Choctaw Nation. “His resilience and dedication are truly inspiring, and his journey serves as a shining example of the indomitable spirit of the Choctaw people. We are immensely proud of Craig and the impact he continues to make within our community and beyond.”

The ASA began in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association which is celebrating 100 years this year. The organization encourages everyone to learn F.A.S.T. (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) to save lives. For more about the Stroke Hero Awards, visit ASA’s website.

About The Choctaw Nation

The Choctaw Nation is the third-largest Indian Nation in the United States with more than 225,000 tribal members and 12,000-plus associates. This ancient people has an oral tradition dating back over 13,000 years. The first tribe over the Trail of Tears, its historic reservation boundaries are in the southeast corner of Oklahoma, covering 10,923 square miles. The Choctaw Nation’s vision, “Living out the Chahta Spirit of faith, family and culture,” is evident as it continues to focus on providing opportunities for growth and prosperity.


Contact Kristina Humenesky for any media relations needs at [email protected].