SPECIAL STORY OF STROKE
For the last 4 years and with the assistance of Taryn Fort I have presented educational seminars in my county on TIA strokes and the use of tPA. Why? To prevent senior citizens in my community from receiving incorrect medical attention after arriving at their hospital.
The year was 2006; my Dad was 87, in excellent health, not taking any medications, he walked three times per week around the high school track, did his own cooking and drove himself to the grocery store. His mother lived to be 100 and his father 103. Based on these stats and exceptional annual doctor checkups, my Dad had a lot of good years left to enjoy life.
However, one morning my phone rang at 4:30 a.m., the voice I could hardly recognize, but I could tell it was my Dad. I heard him say; Rick, I think I am having a stroke. I called 911 and they arrived a few minutes after I got to his home. They took us to a huge catholic hospital in Sacramento and admitted him into the ER. Almost an hour had now transpired and his TIA stroke symptoms had vanished. The hospital, which is a certified stroke center, cut him loose and I took him home. His speech was typical, physical abilities normal, and I fixed us breakfast.
Within a few hours, he had another stroke. Unfortunately, this time it was very destructive. I called 911 again and after arriving at the hospital they admitted him to a private room for a CT scan and other tests for a stroke. Long story short, his stroke was so bad, he could not speak or eat, had to have a feeding tube inserted into his stomach. After two weeks, I had him moved to a stroke therapy facility with a private room. Everyday I would visit to help him with physical therapy. He lasted six months in the facility before passing away from a severe respiratory infection.
In summary, my Dad probably could have been spared all his terrible stroke disabilities and death if the certified stroke hospital would have done a CT scan the first time we arrived in the ER and given him tPA. Living this horrible experience with my Dad is what motivated me to work with the National Stroke Association and volunteer to educate my senior community so they just might be able to avoid like consequences should one of them regrettably have a TIA stroke.