James S.


My Stroke-My Story

Jim had a stroke on August 17, 2009 at 5pm on the afternoon of his 76th birthday. His wife, Rhonda, recognized the symptoms immediately and called 911. Rhonda knew the F.A.S.T. symptoms: face, arms, speech, and time. The Paramedics transported him to Baxter Regional Medical Center (BRMC) where he immediately had a CT Scan, and blood work. Jim could not open his eyelids, or lift his left arm, leg or talk. BRMC initiated Telemedicine. This new telemedicine program links the ER room doctors at BRMC to specially trained neurologists via live, two-way video, so stroke patients can get the treatment they need 24-hours a day. Led by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), the AR SAVES (Stroke Assistance through Virtual Emergency Support) program helps ensure treatment within the three to four hour period required to be effective.

After the neurologist in Little Rock and the ER doctor examined Jim, they told Rhonda that Jim was a candidate for the tPA (clot busting shot), which was given at about 3 hours and 10 minutes after the initial stroke symptoms were noticed. Within 15 minutes, Jim opened his eyelids, and began lifting his left arm and leg and was able to speak. He was then transported to Sparks Hospital in Fort Smith for 24 hours of critical monitoring and tests. He was released forty and one-half hours after suffering the stroke. There was no rehab scheduled, just no driving for 5 days.

Jim and Rhonda continue their active lifestyle of car shows and traveling, showing that there is life after a stroke if you get help FAST.


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