Carolyn had just sat down for Sunday brunch with her husband, Ron, when
it turned into a meal they’ll never forget. When Carolyn tried ordering,
her speech was so slurred the waitress couldn’t understand a word
she was saying. Suddenly, Carolyn’s face began to droop and Ron
knew something was terribly wrong. Their server immediately called 9-1-1
and within 10 minutes, Carolyn was in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.
She was having a stroke.
After an emergency CT scan showed a major blockage cutting off blood flow
in Carolyn’s brain, she was given the “clot-busting”
drug, Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). For optimal results, tPA should
be given within three hours of the time stroke symptoms start. Carolyn
received it within 45 minutes, and just 10 minutes later, she regained
feeling on the left side of her body. The clot-buster worked just as it
should. She would be airlifted to Bakersfield a short time later to undergo
a procedure to completely remove the clot. By 9:00 p.m. that night, Carolyn
was back to feeling normal.
How you spend the first 60 minutes after a stroke could determine how you
spend the rest of your life. Thanks to fast action by her husband, brunch
server, and the Kaweah Delta Emergency Department, Carolyn’s brain
was spared from major damage. Minutes matter and Carolyn is alive and
well today to prove it.