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Ruth W.


Mom survives stroke and now back to work!

Ruth Wolfe is a motivated wife and mother of three. Like many women, Ruth balances a career with an active lifestyle. She works, coaches, and plays a role in her daughters' softball, basketball and volleyball teams. She eats as healthy as she can, works out, and has never smoked. Ruth had a stroke. She did something that saved her life and she wants to share her story.

"I was sitting in my car in the parking lot of Trader Joe's talking to my husband on the phone. It was Friday evening and I had to pick up a few things for a barbecue we were supposed to be going to that night. I was really tired and as I hung up the phone I dropped it and it landed on the passenger floorboard. I reached across the seat to pick it up with my right hand but couldn't get a grasp, it fell out of my hand. I realized immediately the right side of my body was lagging. I couldn't lift my right arm. I managed to hit the redial button and said, 'Listen, I only have a few minutes. I'm having a stroke.' But my husband heard gibberish. My thoughts were forming but I couldn't speak the words. I was mumbling but I knew I needed to get help quickly."

Ruth's husband Don is a retired fireman. He recognized that the garbled speech was a sign of a stroke. He rushed to his wife's side and took her to the Mercy Emergency Department. A specially trained stroke nurse and neurologist examined Ruth immediately noting the signs of stroke and administering life saving Tissue Plasminogen Activator or tPA. tPA is used to treat stroke caused by blood clot(s) and works best if given as soon as symptoms appear. The medicine if given within just four and a half hours of stroke onset can dramatically reduce life altering side effects.

Ruth knew the signs of stroke, she acted F.A.S.T and she trusted the Mercy Stroke Center. Today, nearly two years after her stroke, Ruth works as a respiratory practitioner, co-owns Rooter Scooter and the T-shirt Factory, helps run Shasta Magic athletics and almost never misses her daughters' games. "I never thought I'd be able to do the things I do again. I am so thankful."


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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.

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