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Healthcare Professional and Stroke Survivor

On February 10, 2009, Agnes, a nurse manager at Lutheran Medical Center's stroke unit went from being the stroke nurse to a stroke patient without warning.

Agnes is a 35-year nursing veteran at Lutheran Medical Center and the key nursing advocate and partner in establishing the hospital’s stroke unit. Her enthusiasm and dedication to advances in stroke care piggy-backed off her experiences in the emergency department. Her stroke occurred, while relieving one of her nurses for meal break in our stroke unit. A blood clot embolized from her heart to the right MCA. Thankfully, the family member was knowledgeable of signs and symptoms of stroke and called an RRT (Rapid Response Team Code). The team of nurses and physicians that she had been so instrumental in creating and nurturing sprang to action and within 30 minutes her CT and blood work were performed and IV TPA started. We were able to deliver brain saving medicine quickly and the outcome was very gratifying. Agnes spent three days in our stroke unit and then went to our inpatient stroke rehabilitation program. Her experiences during this process, as well as the subsequent outpatient rehabilitation, have been instrumental in the redesign of our program to become more patient-friendly. Agnes is thankfully back at work now with added responsibilities of being our neuroscience nurse manager. She has a special perspective that I believe can be helpful to patients and providers in becoming better at how we take care of our patients and ourselves.


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