(KUTV) May is National Stroke Awareness Month. Strokes are responsible for 1 out of every 20 deaths. Every year strokes kill more than 130,000 Americans. Since strokes can strike people of any age, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms. Recognizing the signs early is what led to one Utah woman’s remarkable recovery.
Stephanie Booth recalls sitting on the couch with her husband, watching TV, when one of their kids spilled some popcorn on the floor. She leaned over to pick it up and fell to the floor. Her husband then checked to see if she was okay.
“He just rolled me over and said, ‘Your face, your face is drooping,” says Stephanie.
She didn’t believe him. She said she was fine, but in that moment could hear her words beginning to slur. Her husband immediately called 9-1-1 and before she knew it, she was in an ambulance heading to Intermountain Logan Regional Hospital.
“I remember the doctor calling about her saying it’s really weird, I feel like this girl is having a stroke, but she’s so young. I don’t think it’s possible,” says Dr. Megan Donohue from Intermountain Medical Center’s Comprehensive Stroke Center.
Examining Stephanie by video, Dr. Donohue noticed the left side of her body wasn’t moving. She remembers calling out Stephanie’s name and she wouldn’t look up at the camera. At 35-years-old Stephanie was having a severe stroke.
“Right from there we were able to give her the medication, the TPA clot busting medication to help alleviate some of the symptoms and break apart that clot,” says Dr. Donohue.
Needing to have the blood clot removed, she was then flown to Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital for surgery. As soon as she arrived they were able to remove the clot right away through an endovascular procedure.
Three months later, Stephanie has had to learn how to walk again, fine motor skills like doing her daughter’s hair are still a challenge, but overall she’s recovered remarkably well thanks to her husband’s quick thinking.
“Her recover is 100% related to how quickly she got treated,” says Dr. Donohue.
Recognizing the symptoms of a stroke right away are essential. One way to do that is to remember the acronym BE FAST:
B – Balance
E – Eyes (if your vision is affected)
F – Face (if your face is droopy)
A – Arm (if one of your arms is weak)
S – Speech (if you slur your speech or are having problems with words)
T – Time
Most symptoms usually happen at once and come on quickly. If any of these symptoms hit suddenly, get checked for a stroke right away.