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Time2Talk Stories

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Listen to radio interviews with Dr. Talkad
and Patrick Johnson.

WXGM-FM, Norfolk, VA

National Stroke Association, in partnership with Genentech, is promoting Time2Talk, a national stroke awareness campaign to encourage people to take action by talking with family and friends about the signs and symptoms of stroke and what to do if a stroke occurs.

Time2Talk asks individuals to pay-it-forward by sharing vital information about stroke and the importance of acting quickly. You never know when you might need to help someone around you or yourself—have the conversation today!

Photo of Dr. Arund Talkad

Dr. Arun Talkad

Time Is of the Essence

Practicing medicine since 2001, Dr. Arun Talkad recently joined Palm Beach Neuroscience Institute, Tenet Florida’s Advanced Neuroscience Network, and three local hospitals. He is also the new Stroke Medical Director at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center. Board-certified in neurology, his emphasis is on community outreach through EMS stroke education, acute stroke treatment and decreasing door-to-treatment time. Dr. Talkad has co-authored multiple publications in nationally recognized neurology journals and he has co-authored stroke care posters shown at several conferences and symposiums.

Dr. Talkad’s focus is to optimize the care stroke patients receive when they arrive at the emergency room and throughout their hospitalization. He is committed to helping people understand that stroke can happen to anyone and that by recognizing stroke warning signs and acting FAST, stroke patients may be eligible for treatment that can limit the damage a stroke can cause. FAST is the acronym used to remember the warning signs of stroke: Face, Arms, Speech, Time. His fastest “door-to-needle” time (the time it takes for a stroke patient, upon entering the facility, to receive clot-busting medicine) is only 5 minutes—an impressive time since every minute a stroke goes untreated nearly 2 million brain cells die.

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Photo of Patrick Johnson

Patrick Johnson

A Stroke Can Happen to Anyone

Patrick Johnson, a retired Air Force Reserve Colonel, nurse and director of the Flagler County Health Department in Florida, never saw himself as a candidate for stroke. A vegetarian and an avid runner, Patrick believed he was in good health. In fact, he had taken his Air Force fitness test just three days before having his stroke.

“I had received an excellent score, which to me, reinforced the fact that I was fit and healthy,” said Patrick. “Then, I had a stroke.”

Patrick had gotten up in the middle of the night and on his way back to bed knew something was wrong. “I couldn’t move my left side, my speech was slurred and my face was drooping,” said Patrick. His wife and son, who are also both nurses, immediately recognized the signs of stroke and called 9-1-1. 

Paramedics transported Patrick to the hospital within minutes. The stroke team confirmed through a CT scan that he had suffered a severe acute ischemic stroke. Less than two hours after Patrick’s initial onset of symptoms, he was administered treatment to break up the clot in his brain. Thanks to the treatment he received, he returned to work just six days later.

The doctors told Patrick his stroke was brought on by arrhythmias in his heart that caused blood clots to form. He now knows that – despite being in good health - anyone can suffer a stroke. He credits his ongoing recovery to his family, the paramedics and the hospital staff for taking all the appropriate actions to ensure that he received the best possible care.

“I was very fortunate that my family happened to be familiar with the signs and symptoms of stroke, knew to act quickly and get me the appropriate medical attention,” said Patrick. “I encourage everyone to talk to their friends and family about stroke. I know – firsthand - you truly never know what may happen.”

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Photo of Cathy Jenkins

Cathy Jenkins

A Stroke Can Happen At Any Time

On the afternoon of March 23, 2004, 50-year-old Cathy Jenkins, of Springfield, PA had just come home from work when suddenly her leg went numb and her speech became garbled. “I dropped to the kitchen floor as though I was a marionette and someone had just snipped my strings,“ recalls Cathy.

Fortunately for Cathy, her family was home at the time and her husband was familiar with the signs and symptoms and when he saw her drop to the floor he immediately yelled to their daughter, “Mom is having a stroke, call 9-1-1!”

Paramedics rushed Cathy to the nearest hospital equipped for stroke care where she was evaluated by the stroke team. They confirmed through a CT scan that she had suffered an acute ischemic stroke. Within two hours of first experiencing her symptoms, doctors had administered treatment to break up the clot in her brain. “I started to feel better just ten minutes later,” said Cathy.

While treatment was successful, even nine years later Cathy is still dealing with the after effects of her stroke, including struggling with remembering things. Regardless, she is grateful for the quick action of her family and the stroke team in getting her immediate medical attention.

“I encourage everyone to talk to their loved ones about the signs and symptoms and what to do if a stroke occurs,” said Cathy. “Time is very important in making sure you have a chance at limiting the effects, so being aware and educated is a key first step.”

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