Woman survives stroke thanks to quick reactions

Quick-thinking helps woman survive a stroke

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Linda Smith was released four days after suffering a stroke and showing no signs of symptoms.

“I was driving to Walmart and when I got there, I couldn’t get out of the car,” says Linda Smith.

“I kind of noticed she was reaching for the handle. She wasn’t even getting close to the handle. And she didn’t have a whole grip,” says Christy Smith.

“I could tell there was something not right, but I wasn’t sure what it was,” says Linda.

Linda Smith was having a stroke. Daughter Christy called 911. She was taken to St. Vincent’s and put her in a helicopter.

“This is one of the unusual circumstances that you hope happens regularly. We were on the scene within two minutes. Jonathan Willis and Hannah Collette did a great job as the crew to recognize the symptoms and immediately called for a helicopter because they knew time was of the essence,” says Blount EMS Operations Manager Weslie Powell.

She was flown to UAB where they did a fairly new procedure called an Endovascular Thrombectomy to remove the blood clot causing the stroke. The next day, a miraculous thing happened.

“She was back to normal, I mean her speech, it didn’t sound like anything was wrong with her,” says Christy.

Experts say the quick reaction and quick treatment restoring circulation made all the difference.

“We have seen people that have permanent deficits. Either in speech or unable to walk really well,” says Powell.

So often, stroke victims must undergo therapy to learn how to walk or talk again. But Linda had no symptoms and was released within a week.

On Tuesday, Linda got to see the helicopter she rode in, and by coincidence, met the nurse who transported her that night.

“Wow, I’m glad you’re doing better, that’s awesome,” said nurse Barry Lawson.

Now both are grateful her quality of life is where it should be.

“It was incredible. Prayer works and Jesus is always with us,” says Christy.

Linda was diagnosed that night with AFib, which is a risk factor.

When it comes to a stroke, remember FAST—Facial drooping, Arm function, Slurred speech, and Time is of the essence.

For more information on stroke symptoms and risk factors, click here for some information from the Mayo Clinic.

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