After reading Megan Hann's story for the first time, I couldn't stop laughing over the idea that she was glad her stroke happened in the morning with her friends around or they might have thought it was just a little too much wine. My father spends half of the year in Florida and I could see this situation resonating with him and his friends as they also enjoy their evening cocktails. Thank you Megan, for adding a little humor to your stroke story and sharing with us that indeed, strokes do not care who you are and can happen to anyone.
Here is Megan's Stroke Story:
First, let me tell you a little about myself. My name is Megan Hann, and I live in Edmond, Oklahoma. I am 62 years old, work out daily, (mostly) eat healthy, but I do enjoy my wine. I have walked three 60-mile Breast Cancer Walks, hiked the Inca Trail, rode 250 miles on a bike in Spain & France and climbed to the top of Kilimanjaro. I am the last person on earth I thought would have a stroke, but I did.
Five days after my annual checkup with my cardiologist, I was in Naples, Florida on our annual girls' trip. Thursday morning, after arriving Wednesday night, I was enjoying a leisurely morning with two of my friends drinking coffee, dressed to go on a four mile walk. I got up from the table to refill my coffee and started stumbling. Luckily, it was 9:00 in the morning so my friends knew it wasn't wine-induced. When my friends ask me what was wrong, I started slurring my words and was very confused.
A good friend of ours that is a neuroradiologist who happened to not be in surgery and have her cell phone with her, responded to calls. She told them to give me two aspirins and to drive to the hospital immediately. Note: It is better to call 911 because EMT's know which hospitals are stroke centers. There are two hospitals in Naples, luckily we ended up at the stroke hospital and not the OB hospital. This could have been disastrous because TIME IS CRITICAL - CALL 9-1-1.
Once we arrived at the hospital, I was wheeled in by one of my friends who announced very loudly, "she is having a stroke." The hospital personnel took me straight back to the ER. I had an neurological evaluation, a CT, TPA, another CT, more TPA and a MRI all within one hour. The doctors told me when you get TPA within the first hour, there are usually very few residual effects. After spending two nights in ICU, having a million test performed, I was released with no idea why I'd had a stroke.
I was and am extremely blessed for all that took place. First, my friends recognized I was having a stroke. I had no facial paralysis and could lift both arms but I was dazed, off-balance and slurring my words. Second, DON’T WAIT TO SEE IF IT GETS BETTER-TIME IS CRITICAL. Lastly, know which hospitals are stroke centers. I know I was extremely lucky to not have any major lasting detriments, only losing my peripheral vision on one side. Thanks to my friends, the talented nurses and doctors and being in Naples instead of home by myself. I am back to living a full life, and am going to ride from Prague to Vienna in August.
Remember, strokes do not care who you are, it can happen to anyone. Make sure people around you and your family know all about F.A.S.T. - Face drooping, Arm Weakness, Speech Difficulty, Time to call 9-1-1.
There is more we can do as community members and advocates to help END STROKE and raise awareness about the warning signs of stroke. I am so glad the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is working towards this goal! Please take a moment today to join the movement and become an AHA Advocate so that we can fight together! Simply CLICK HERE.
For more than a decade we’ve worked with healthcare providers and facilities across the nation to help make sure patients get proven, quality treatment every time. Our Get With The Guidelines® programs provide hospital teams with the most up-to-date research-based clinical guidelines for heart and stroke care. Studies have shown that consistent use of these guidelines increases survival rates and lowers patients’ risk of ending back up in the hospital. Since 2001, Get With The Guidelines programs have touched the lives of more than 4 million patients.
Check out our searchable map to find hospitals near you that participate in our quality care improvement programs. These include facilities recognized by the AHA/ASA for consistently following scientific treatment guidelines for heart disease and stroke treatment. Accredited and certified hospitals are allowed to display the American Heart Association’s familiar Heart-Check mark.