This past legislative session in the State of Colorado, we passed Senate Bill 225, thanks to the tireless help of our amazing volunteers. This bill allows for the public recognitions of hospitals in the state that have been nationally accredited as STEMI (a type of major heart attack) and Stroke receiving/referring hospitals.
During committee hearings for this bill, members of the Colorado General Assembly heard testimony from Mary Ann, a stroke survivor.
A few years back, while out to dinner, Mary Ann experienced a stroke at the age of 32. She was taken to a hospital, where she sat for six hours waiting for a diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately, the hospital she was taken to did not have the capability to recognize the symptoms she was presenting, nor the resources to treat her properly.
When Mary Ann was finally diagnosed as experiencing a stroke, she was transferred to a designated primary stroke center hospital and received the care needed. At that time, she had lost her ability to speak and was paralyzed on half of her body. To this day, Mary Ann still lives with the damage that was done because she did not receive the proper care needed, as soon as possible.
By testifying in committee and working on a bill to streamline the process of treating heart and stroke, Mary Ann has made a tremendous difference for those who will experience a heart attack or stroke in the future in the state of Colorado. Mary Ann's work with the AHA will help to ensure better outcomes for STEMI and stroke survivors in this state.
Thank you, Mary Ann, for being willing to share her story with legislators to impact public policy and to help to ensure better outcomes for STEMI and stroke survivors in this state!