National News

Local woman's close call serves as a lesson about signs of stroke

Posted June 8

— Seconds truly count when a loved one is having a stroke. Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and can be a major cause of serious disability for adults. One local woman made a quick recovery because of her husband's fast response.

It was anything but an ordinary night for Sharon and Jim Solum and their dog Boo. Sharon had pneumonia and went to bed early, but she never expected what would happen next.. "I remember waking up and the dog was jumping on my chest and barking. The next thing i know, he's calling on his phone and saying he thought his wife was having a stroke," Sharon says.

He was right. Doctors told her she had a major stroke and because of Jim's quick response, Sharon made a quick recovery.

"If you don't get this person to the hospital as soon as you can, they'll be absolutely no chance to remove this blood clot and restore the functions," says Dr. Drofa. The longer the brain is without sufficient oxygen, the more damaging a stroke will be.

"Once Dr. Drofa removed the blood clots, everything came back immediately," Sharon said.

Dr. Drofa says emergency rooms use tests like CT scans and MRIS to diagnose a stroke. He says they try to work as fast as possible.

"One 1 in 5 strokes that we see here will end up in the operating room. we overreact to strokes. by pulling all those resources, sanford is able to provide very exceptional level of care to the population," said Drofa.

Sharon says you should not take the signs of a possible stroke lightly, "looking back, i believe i was having some TIAs before i had a stroke, but i pushed it off to i wasn't feeling well from pneumonia."

So what are the signs of a stroke? Remember the acronym fast: F for face drooping, A for arm weakness, S for speech difficulty and T for time.

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