My 91 year old mother just suffered a stroke on Jan. 19th. My husband and I were right next to her as she put a load of laundry in the washer and became frozen and unable to speak to us. I immediately called 911 and she was in the ER within 30 minutes. Upon arrival she was unable to speak and had paralysis on the right side from her face down (arm and leg).
My mother is a very active 91 year old, she drives once a week to play bridge, has a facebook page, hand painted butterflies for everyone on her Christmas list in Dec. and is an avid reader. She had somewhere along the line read an article about tPA and informed me of this new drug. When we arrived at the ER, I immediately asked the ER doc to administer tPA if at all possible. His immediate response was, “I’m afraid her age will eliminate her from the criteria to receive tPA…we’ll just keep our fingers crossed.” I tried to tell him that this was a 75 year old lady in a 91 year old body, to no avail.
Moments later a 2nd Doctor entered the room and talked to my husband & I about tPA. He was curious to know how my Mother had become aware of tPA and was amazed that we had actually had a discussion about it previous to the stroke. He informed us of the risks of tPA but we all agreed that without trying it her quality of life might very well be aphasia and paralysis which would not be a kind quality of life.
She was administered the tPA about 2 1/2 hours after the onset of her stroke.
She was fidgety throughout the night in ICU, however I saw her erratic movements as positive signs that her right side was ‘waking up’. By the next afternoon she was making sounds and when asked questions she would try to answer only to have gobble-dee-goop words form. Her first word was in response to my leaning over her and asking, “Do you hurt anywhere, Mommy?” She looked at me and replied, “NO”, clear as a bell. I leaned over a second time and asked, can you say, “NO?” Her response was, “YES.”
Later in the afternoon the Doctor that had ordered tPA visited and was asking her questions. Although her speech was improving it was still pretty much gibberish. When he asked her if she knew her age, her reply was, “it’s WAY up there.” I knew her sense of humor was still intact. (She had never wanted people to know her age.)
Later that night I had returned home and had just dozed off about 9:15pm. The phone rang and my caller ID showed it was the hospital calling….my heart sank. I apprehensively answered and heard her voice say, “well, what are you doing?” I almost fell out of the bed! She proceeded to tell me all the food that had been on her dinner tray.
She was moved to a regular room that night and transferred to Rehabilitation on Friday, Jan 21st. After a one week stay she is back home with us!
People who are more likely to have a stroke are less likely to know the five symptoms of stroke. Research confirms that race, education, income, gender and even marital status play a large role in determining which people could correctly spot the stroke warning signs and knew to call 9-1-1. The emotional and economic burden of not knowing the signs and symptoms of stroke will be enormous over the next decade. Please help by making sure at least three people you know and love know the signs and symptoms of stroke and the immediate actions that need to be taken in the event of stroke.
25% of stroke victims recover with minor impairments.
40% of stroke victims experience moderate to severe impairments requiring special care.
10% of stroke victims require care in a nursing home or other long-term care facility.
15 % die shortly after the stroke.
7.6 % of ischemic strokes and 37.5% of hemorrhagic strokes result in death within 30 days.
While subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) represents only about 7% of all strokes, it is the most deadly with more than a 50% fatality rate. Of the survivors, approximately half will suffer permanent disability.
22% of men and 25% of women die within a year of their first stroke.
14% of people who have a stroke or TIA will have another within a year.
About 25% of stroke victims will have another within five years.
Warning signs are clues your body sends that your brain is not receiving enough oxygen. If you observe one or more of these signs of a stroke don’t wait Call 911 right away!
Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
Sudden confusion, or trouble speaking or understanding speech
Sudden trouble seeing in in one or both eyes
Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination
Sudden severe headache with no known cause
Other danger signs that may occur include double vision, drowsiness, and nausea or vomiting. Sometimes the warning signs may last only a few moments and then disappear. These brief episodes known as transient ischemic attacks or TIAs, are sometimes called “mini-strokes.” Although brief, they identify an underlying serious condition that isn’t going away without medical help. Unfortunately, since they clear up, many people ignore them. Don’t. Call a doctor or 911 right away; it can save your life.
SAF strives to improve community awareness for stroke and its treatment through advocacy, education and public awareness programs in the community.
We continue to support hospital stroke center CERTIFICATION and REDIRECTION efforts of paramedics and emergency care, as well continued PUBLIC EDUCATION of the warning signs of stroke and the need to seek proper medical services immediately.