I’m a proud husband and father of four children. At the age of 48, I had very few health problems until I went to work on May 3, 2012.
That morning around 7:15 am, I suffered a stroke. I could barely speak. Somehow, I told a co-worker I was having a stroke and to get me an ambulance. I knew what was happening and I was scared. I was very coherent and could hear all the chaos and everyone talking.
The responders quickly took me to the hospital and everyone worked under my assumption that I was having a stroke. I didn’t felt pain at any given time. As I lied in the hospital, I could tell I was rapidly getting worse each hour. I couldn’t remember simple things anymore. Even my sister-in-law could tell I was getting worse.
I remember the hospital setting up a video conference with a doctor in another hospital in Huntsville, who analyzed me on TV. He offered a treatment plan to my wife, letting her know she only had seconds to answer about something that could have killed me. But they made it clear that there is only a 3 hour window for this medicine for stroke patients to survive the stroke. We only had 30 minutes left before my window closed.
I clearly remember the nurse filling out the consent form after my wife approved it, asking me if I wanted to sign it. Believe it or not, I took the clipboard from them and signed my name just as clear as any other day. I tell my wife that took the heat off her if anything went wrong. However by 10:15 am that morning, God answered our call! I was administered the medicine and within 45 minutes, my speech returned to normal and I had no visible signs of having a stroke.
After an hour or so I was joking around with everyone, but as I constantly remember the whole morning I get very upset. My mother had a stroke when I was 10 years old. She became paralyzed and couldn’t speak for the rest of her life; I really thought that was going to happen to me.
Fortunately, that’s not how my story ends. I returned to work eleven days after my stroke. I enjoy life with my wife and children. My story truly reveals the importance of recognizing the signs of a stroke, to call 9-1-1 immediately, and how important that three hour window is for stroke patients. When it comes to stroke, time is of the essence!