Woman survives stroke due to quick thinking from husband

Posted at 5:22 PM, May 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-10 18:25:17-04

The American Stroke Association reports that someone dies from a stroke every four minutes, making it the fifth leading cause of death in the United States.

Back in March, one local had a stroke but quick thinking from her husband helped in her recovery.

Louise Bates and her husband Johnny were in the middle of picking up some groceries when she started to feel the symptoms of a stroke.

"The closer to the car I was getting the more kind of disoriented I felt. Kind of confused," Louise said. "I just wanted to go home and he's like no you're going to the hospital."

After being together for 35 years, Johnny was quick to notice that something wasn't right with his wife and he rushed her to Providence Hospital for help.

"I knew I had to get her to the ER," Johnny said. "She said she could see it on my face and I was very scared."

Once she arrived, doctors quickly began working to prevent damage to her brain. They injected her with a medication called a tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) that dissolved the blood clot.

"They took care of it so fast," Louise said. "Within two hours I had complete movement on the left side."

Dr. Adam Borowski is a neuroradiologist at Providence Hospital. He said this quick response helped prevent Louise from having any long-term disabilities.

"Every minute that vessel stays closed kills over a million brain cells,"  Dr. Borowski said. "Some of those may not be necessarily functional but a lot of them are and so the sooner we can establish blood flow the better changes patients have of recovery with full function."

Louise spent 24 hours in the ICU then another 24 hours in a regular room before being released. She was able to completely adjust back to the life she loves almost immediately. 

"For a few weeks after that, every once in a while, she used the wrong word to describe something but even that's gone away now," Johnny said. "So she's back 100 percent!"

"What if I was alone? What if I went to sleep? It could've gone very wrong," Louise said. "I'm very blessed."

The American Stroke Association recently released updated stroke guidelines that extend the treatment window for mechanical thrombectomy from 6 to 24 hours, enhancing treatment options for eligible patients suffering from ischemic stroke.

For more information on strokes and stroke symptoms, click here.

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