Healthcare Professional

As the Stroke Program Coordinator for Via Christi Hospital in Wichita, Kansas, I strive to care for patients and their families as if someday myself or someone I love could be in their situation. In May of 2010, it happened.

I received a phone call from my sister, who was just 30 at the time, a few hours after she awoke with “the worst headache of her life” and vision changes. Initially I thought about a stroke, but due to her young age and lack of any other symptoms, I attributed her complaints to a "possible migraine" – which she never had complaints of prior. When I found out that her symptoms became worse over the next couple of hours, I convinced her to let me take her to the hospital, where we found out that she had suffered a stroke.

Today, almost one year later, she has adjusted to complete left sided vision loss, but still struggles daily with fear, anxiety and some memory difficulties.

In hindsight, there are things I would have done different.  Although she was likely to be out of the time window for any invasive treatment because she awoke with her symptoms and waited several hours to notify anyone, I should have called 911 immediately.

My messages to the public and healthcare professionals are:

  1. Stroke does not discriminate against age.
  2. Stroke symptoms are not always the obvious "facial droop and/or 1‐sided weakness." Act fast and dial 911 if you or anyone you know is experiencing a sudden, out of the ordinary change.
  3. Someday, it could be you or someone you love in that bed – because unfortunately, none of us are invincible.


All active news articles

Display of the Faces of Stroke stories does not imply National Stroke Association's endorsement of any product, treatment, service or entity. National Stroke Association strongly recommends that people ask a healthcare professional about diagnosis and treatment questions before using any product, treatment or service. The views expressed through the stories reflect those of the authors and do not reflect the opinion of National Stroke Association.


© 2019 National Stroke Association, All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized Use is Prohibited.