The Right Place for Stroke Care

The Right Place for Stroke Care

William didn’t know he was having a stroke. For this 45-year-old father, balancing a job and raising his teenage son was his primary focus. And like many of us, monitoring his overall health, specifically his diabetes, fell lower on the list.

But when William couldn’t concentrate and form sentences, he knew something was terribly wrong. Soon after his symptoms began, William told his son to call 911. As they waited for the ambulance, William had the terrible thought that he might not live to raise his son. “I told him, whatever happens to me, I love you,” says William.

Where you go for stroke care

Within minutes, William arrived at Meritus Medical Center’s emergency department. “From the beginning, they [stroke team] knew what they we’re doing,” says William. “I knew I was in good hands.” Since 2007, Meritus Medical Center has been a certified Primary Stroke Center by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems. The designation means that the hospital’s stroke response team is ready to provide patients with immediate assessment and stroke treatment.

For the best chance of recovery and to treat his ischemic stroke, William needed a clot-busting drug known as tissue plasminogen activator or tPA. He received tPA in under 4 hours—within the therapy’s recommended guidelines.

This is never going to happen again

Throughout William’s state of confusion, testing and treatment, he never lost his son’s name. But because of his health scare, William knew he had to make lifestyle changes. “Being 45 and having a stroke is a wake-up call,” says William. “I said to myself, this is never going to happen again.”

For this reason, he participates in Meritus’ stroke support group, carefully watches his diet and exercises four-to-five times a week with his son. In in the last six months, William has lost 40 pounds and competed in a 5K run. “Minus some speech difficulties, I feel the best I have felt in 10 years,” says William.

William encourages everyone, especially those with diabetes, to listen to their doctor’s instructions—and don’t ignore stroke symptoms. And when it comes to managing his diabetes, William says, “Now I’m doing things the right way.”