Just four months after having a stroke, Joyce Godberson of Papillion is back to normal, spending time outdoors and gardening. Another hobby, sewing, tipped Joyce off to her health problem last January 8th.
“I went to pick up something and my right hand, I couldn't pick it up and so I picked something up with my left hand and put it in my right hand and it fell out."
Joyce's son-in-law, a doctor, immediately took her to the hospital. That's what Alegent emergency room physician Dr. Chad Shuff wants to hear because a stroke is a very time sensitive illness. Doctors only have three hours from when the first symptoms appear to administer drugs, like the clot-busting TPA (Tissue Plasminogen Activator).
”A lot of times people delay treatment, they try minimizing their symptoms, but it's the patients who recognize their symptoms early, seeks treatment early and gets treatment early, who repeatedly will have better outcomes and less disability related to their stroke,” says Dr. Shuff.
So families need to act FAST. F: Look for one side of the Face to droop. A: Are the Arms weak or numb? S: Is Speech slurred? T: Time. Call 911 for symptoms because every second counts.
Godberson is living proof. "I feel great, I really do. My hand has come to the point where I can use it, I've got two fingers that work good and three that don't work so good, but I figure as long as I’ve got two working and my left hand, I'm doing good."
One group considered at high risk for stroke may be missing the message when it comes to getting immediate help. Nearly 90 percent of African-Americans say they would call 911 at the first sign of stroke, however, only 12 percent of those who suffered a stroke actually did. A majority called a family member or friend instead. Nearly half delayed getting treatment because they thought their symptoms were not serious enough or they would feel better.
Doctors say that anyone with new symptoms, something they've not experienced before, should seek treatment.