Wife's Quick Action Ensures Husband’s Survival
On Friday, December 14, 2007, Charlotte and Hardy Stallings of northwest Detroit were beginning what they thought would be a normal day. They didn’t realize that they would soon need the services of DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital and its top-ranked stroke care.
“Everyone at Sinai-Grace was just wonderful. I am so thankful we went there and pleased that they responded so fast and so professionally,” says Charlotte Stallings of northwest Detroit, hugging her husband, Hardy. “He now only uses a cane when he’s outside or goes up stairs. He can feed himself, get in the shower and get dressed with only a little help. He’s still working on his speech and memory and writing.”
Sinai's expertise comes from experience: The hospital treats more than 1,000 stroke patients each year, many arriving via the Emergency Department (ED). If patients come to the ED at the onset of stroke symptoms, there are more medical options, like tPA, to reverse the effects of stroke. tPA is a clotbusting drug that opens clogged brain arteries that cause strokes if given within three hours of stroke symptom onset.
Tessy Jenkins, M.D., chief of neurology at Sinai-Grace, helped treat Hardy that day. “If more stroke patients would recognize the symptoms sooner and seek treatment immediately, they could receive tPA,” she says. “Long-term symptoms such as paralysis, speech defects and memory loss could be lessened if people came to the hospital as soon as possible after symptoms start.”
Quick Action Timeline
When it comes to stroke, time is of the essence. This timeline and quick actions by Charlotte Stallings and the hospital staff helped improve Hardy’s outcome after he suffered a stroke.
December 14, 9 a.m. Hardy, 65, drops an applesauce jar and his wife, Charlotte, notices he can’t use his right arm and can’t talk.
9:26 a.m. Paramedics arrive. They say urgent care is vital and strongly recommend Sinai-Grace Hospital.
9:53 a.m. The Stallings arrive at Sinai-Grace’s ED.
9:58 a.m.The Stroke Response Team is paged.
10:05 a.m. An IV pump and telemedicine “robot” are rolled into position. The robot connects DMC hospitals to stroke specialists 24/7.
10:16 a.m. Hardy’s CT confirms he has had a stroke and is a candidate for cutting-edge therapies to dissolve the clot in the brain.
10:20 a.m. Offsite, a DMC stroke expert reviews the CT results. Via the robot he can see and talk to the Stallings.
10:58 a.m. Hardy is given an emergency IV dose of tPA, a clot-busting drug that opens clogged brain arteries that cause strokes.
11:28 a.m. Hardy begins to regain movement in his right side.
Noon. Because his stroke was so severe, Hardy is transported to DMC Harper University Hospital for a cutting-edge procedure to administer another dose of tPA directly into his brain’s artery. This procedure is performed in only a few hospitals in the country.
December 19. Hardy recovers from his acute condition and is transferred to DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan to receive daily physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.
January 11, 2005. Hardy is discharged and begins outpatient therapy three days a week.
This story first appeared in Sinai-Grace Hospital’s Healthy Living magazine. Click here to read more Health Living stories.