LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Time is the biggest key in not only surviving a stroke, but recovery. That’s why doctors say it is crucial to know the signs of a stroke not just to save yourself but someone else.
As Judy Dillon talks with Doctor Sushrut Dharmadhikari at Baptist Health, it’s hard to imagine just one year ago she was suffering a stroke and didn’t even know it.
“It ended up that I had a blood clot right here about this big totally blocking this side,” Dillon said.
Judy was at a conference and said she felt totally fine.
“A friend stepped up behind me and goes ‘You’re having a stroke’ and I’m going ‘No I’m not. No, I’m not.’ I felt nothing,” Dillon said.
Her friend noticed the left side of her face was drooping and immediately called an ambulance.
“I was still going ‘I don’t need to go.’ I didn’t realize it. I know that may sound crazy but there was no pain, no pre-recognition that anything was happening,” Dillon said.
When EMTs finally convinced her to get in and go to the hospital, Baptist had the stroke team all ready for her.
“There’s a large part of the brain that was not getting flow on the entire right side of the brain,” Dr. Dharmadhikari said.
Dr. Dharmadhikari is the Baptist Health Stroke Medical Director and said after they took scans they went to work.
“We were able to give her medicine to try and dissolve the clot which sometimes does not work for large-sized clots so then we went in with a catheter from an artery in the leg into that blood vessel and we were able to take that blood clot out,” Dr. Dharmadhikari said.
In just three days, she was walking out of the hospital.
“I’ve been back at work after a week and a half,” Dillon said.
“It’s remarkable,” Dr. Dharmadhikari said. “She looks completely like a normal person. You’re not able to even tell she’s had a stroke.”
A miraculous recovery, thanks in part to the quick actions of her doctors and the friend who knew the signs and symptoms of a stroke and called 911.
“Oh she saved my life,” Dillon said.
An easy way to remember the signs of a stroke is to BE FAST. That stands for Balance, Eyes like blurry vision or vision loss, Facial weakness or drooping, Arm or leg weakness or numbness, Speech and Time.