• Stroke Patient Recovering

Every Moment Counts: Timely Stroke Care Key to Harvey Woman’s Recovery

When a “Code 66” is called overhead at Ingalls, a team of highly trained specialists springs into action.

Their mission: to quickly evaluate and treat a patient with the signs and symptoms of stroke, when every moment truly counts.

Seventy-three-year-old Florence Auman of Harvey never expected to be on the receiving end of emergency stroke care, but she found herself in that situation last fall.

On Monday, Oct. 20, 2014, the cheerful great-grandmother of eight was out running errands. When she headed home to relax, something strange began to happen, recalls her granddaughter Jeniffer Straube.

“She had the television remote control in her hand and kept turning it off and on while staring blankly at the TV,” she explains. She couldn’t speak or respond to her daughter who was with her at the time.

“I can remember my daughter saying, ‘Come on, Mom, talk to me.’ But I couldn’t,” Florence adds.

Her family immediately dialed 9-1-1, and Florence was whisked to the Ingalls Emergency Department.

By the time she arrived, the stroke team was ready and waiting. She couldn’t move the left side of her body, and instead of answering questions, she mumbled words no one could understand.

A rapid CT scan of her brain showed an ischemic stroke, caused by a blockage in a vessel supplying blood to the brain. Doctors recommended tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) to dissolve the clot and improve blood flow to the part of the brain being deprived.

“tPA is the gold standard for stroke care,” explains board- certified neurologist Engin Yilmaz, M.D., medical director of the Ingalls Primary Stroke Center Team. “If administered within three hours, tPA can improve the chances of recovering from a stroke. Unfortunately, many of stroke victims don’t get to the hospital in time; that’s why it’s so important to identify a stroke immediately.”

In Florence’s case, the tPA worked quickly. Within an hour, she was able to squeeze Jeniffer’s hand. “It was a miracle,” Florence says.

Following a week-long stay at the Ingalls Center for Rehabilitative Medicine, Florence was back in the comfort of her own home, eager to celebrate the holidays with her very grateful family.

“All the doctors were wonderful,” she adds. “I can’t say enough about the care I received. I’ve had all my kids here; I love Ingalls!”

After recovering at home, Florence was well enough to come back to Ingalls — this time for hip replacement surgery.

“I can’t wait to work in my garden again. I know this is going to be a great year for me!”


KNOW THE SIGNS OF STROKE

"Give me 5" is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. When you can spot the signs, seek emergency medical help right away!

  1. Walk. Is their balance off?
  2. Talk. Is their speech slurred or face droopy?
  3. Reach. Is one side weak or numb?
  4. See. Is their vision all or partly lost?
  5. Feel. Is their headache severe?

Even if you or someone you know has only one symptom or your symptom(s) go away, call 9-1-1 and go to the nearest Primary Stroke Center!

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