Time is key when having a stroke
Sunday, May 25, 2014
J’Dun Hill’s quick action helped save the life
of his great grandmother, Brenda Brooks, when
she was having a stroke. Brooks was rushed to
Hamilton Medical Center where she received quick
treatment, including a brain-saving drug. J’Dun
and Brooks are pictured.
Click image for larger view (pdf)
DALTON, Ga. – Brenda Brooks, physical therapy assistant for Hamilton
Medical Center (HMC) was recently spending time with J’Dun Hill, her
9-year-old great grandson, when he noticed that something was wrong.
Brooks had facial droop, weakness on her right side and speech problems.
J’Dun recognized these as symptoms of a stroke because he and Brooks had
been learning them from a FAST (an acronym standing for face, arms,
speech and time) magnet that Brooks has on her refrigerator.
J’Dun called 911. “Hurry up. My great grandmother is having a
stroke!” he said to the 911 operator.
“I am so glad that J’Dun and I were studying the stroke signs from the
FAST magnet,” Brooks said. “He was the one who saved my
Hamilton Emergency Medical Services called a Code Stroke
from the field, and Brooks was rushed to the HMC Emergency Department.
She was quickly taken to get a CT scan.
Juan Gonzalez, MD, was on call and ordered tissue plasminogen activator
(TPA), a brain-saving drug. Brooks received the drug 37 minutes after
her arrival to the Emergency Department. Her stroke symptoms began to
The following morning, she had an MRI of the brain that revealed no
tissue damage. Timeliness of administering the drug helps prevent brain
tissue from dying.
“I could not have any better care,” said Brooks. “Because 911, EMS and
the ED (Emergency Department) communicated quickly and well, the Code
Stroke was enacted, and my life was saved. The staff members work
hard for you as a patient.”
Brooks was discharged less than 48
hours after arrival to HMC. She was back at work by the fifth day with
no residual issues from the stroke.
HMC recently received The Joint Commission’s Certificate of Distinction
for Primary Stroke Centers. This distinction recognizes centers that
make exceptional efforts to foster better outcomes for stroke care.
“If you see the signs of stroke, don’t delay in calling 911 and
letting them know that you are having signs of a stroke,” Brooks said.
“Also, talk to your family and friends and ensure they know the
signs of a stroke as well. They just might save your life.”