COLORADO SPRINGS – May is National Stroke Awareness Month. Knowing the signs of a stroke and exactly what do to can be life-saving knowledge. Just ask Jim and Marian Taylor. Last June, Jim suffered a stroke and Marian recognized signs almost immediately and knew exactly what to do.
Jim has a very different recollection of how that fateful day began: “It was business as usual (that day) and to this day I would probably think I owned a river in Egypt – denial. I didn’t think I was having a stroke, but when I look at the scans and see that little clot – yea, I had one.”
Marian has a very clear memory of that June morning. “My husband got up after taking a little nap, and it looked like he was going to fall, he was kind of staggering. I had to hold him, and I managed to get him back to the bedroom and I thought this isn’t right, something’s wrong, so I called 9-1-1.”
Marian knew something wasn’t right, all because of a stroke-awareness magnet on her fridge handed out by a UCHealth stroke expert at a Kiwanis meeting she and Jim regularly attend. The magnet was part of a stroke-education presentation by UCHealth at the meeting just a couple of months earlier.
Marian explains, “It was all because of me being aware of the signs of a stroke that are on that little magnet. It’s on my refrigerator forever, and it saved us immeasurably. I had to make a little addition because at that time, balance and eyes were not one of the triggers to know that you’re having a stroke. So I put on there B = balance and E = eyes.”
While the first responders, doctors, nurses and hospital staff all played a role in resolving Jim’s stroke, the foundation of his recovery was Marian recognizing what was going on and knowing to call 9-1-1.
Jim says, “She is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. If you don’t understand or know the symptoms you’re just putting yourself at risk. Everybody ought to have that stroke magnet on their refrigerator.”
Marian says, “We ended up at UCHealth Memorial North, where they gave Jim tPA, (tissue plasminogen activator) for the clots, and then he was transported down to Memorial Central, and they got him into the cath lab and pulled the big clot out of the right side of his brain, and he had a wonderful recovery. Jim didn’t need to have any rehab, he was able to golf later in the summer – and he just he was fine.”
To recognize the signs that you, or someone else is having a stroke just remember to “BE FAST”.
B – Balance
E – Eyesight
F – Facial Drooping
A – Arm Weakness
S – Slurred Speech, Trouble with Speech
T – Time to Call 9-1-1
Since his stroke, Jim has shared his own stroke education presentation with all who will listen, and he and Marian included a BE FAST message in their annual Christmas letter to their friends.
Jim says, “Before you suffer severe irreparable harm, you’ve only got 4 hours in many cases to get that blood clot out of there, so you’ve got to get to the doctor you got to get to a hospital.”
Jim and Marian will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary this summer and are very grateful to continue their journey in life together because of the stroke education they took to heart.
Marian says, “Knowledge is key. Jim’s stroke was a significant life-changing event for us, and I’m just so grateful that everything worked out. I got a lot of knowledge that day when the nurse came and spoke to us. That was wonderful.”
You can get that same life-saving information for free this Saturday. UCHealth Memorial is holding a stroke education event in Colorado Springs on May 11th, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Community Education Center at 2050 KidsKare Point in Colorado Springs.
For more information you can Contact the UCHealth Memorial Stroke Center, at 719-365-9622 or email Donna String, at Donna.Stringer@uchealth.org
UCHealth is a proud sponsor of Your Healthy Family