When Shawn Pullum attended a health fair, he never imagined he’d need the health tips he learned from Medical City Plano to save his wife’s life just days later.
Pullum learned the signs of a stroke while attending an employee health fair, hosted by AT&T in Plano. Five days later, the McKinney man recognized the symptoms in his wife, Catrina. Shawn promptly sought medical care and Catrina is expected to fully recover.
"I think about how close I came to losing her,” said Shawn. “I'm just glad the story has the ending that it did.”
As May is recognized as National Stroke Month, the Pullums and Medical City Plano are spreading awareness of the need to act fast at the onset of stroke symptoms, which can greatly increase the chance of survival and recovery.
About one in three American adults have experienced a symptom consistent with a warning or "mini" stroke, but almost none – only 3 percent – took the recommended action, according to a new survey from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA). Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States.
"Ignoring any stroke sign could be a deadly mistake," said Parita Bhuva, MD, Interventional Neurologist with Medical City Healthcare's Texas Stroke Institute. "If you or someone you know experiences a stroke warning sign - whether it goes away or not - call 911 right away to improve chances of an accurate diagnosis, treatment and recovery."
To easily remember the most common stroke signs, the American Stroke Association recommends consumers learn the acronym F.A.S.T., which stands for:
- Face drooping
- Arm weakness
- Speech difficulty
- Time to call 911
Other stroke warning signs include sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, or sudden severe headache with no known cause.
“It’s important to us to serve as a resource to the greater community, and give people the tools to notice signs and symptoms like these and take action,” said Medical City Plano CEO Charles Gressle. “We hope others will educate themselves on the signs associated with stroke, like Shawn did, which resulted in the best outcome possible for his wife. “
Learn more about Medical City Plano’s pioneering brain and spine services here.