Sign of a Stroke? Act F.A.S.T.

Former Loveland High School football coach Denny Johnson used to lift weights with his team and has stayed in shape even in his retirement years. Golf is his current passion, and Denny and his buddies were just getting started on a round near Brown County when he suddenly realized he couldn’t lift his golf club with his left arm.

“I couldn’t hold my arm up, and I couldn’t move my left leg; it was dead,” Denny recalls. “My friends carried me to the cart.

Denny's Friends Took Him to Bethesda North: They Wanted Quality

“We were just outside Milford, and we knew Bethesda North was one of the top-rated ERs in the city.” Unsure about where a squad would take their friend, the men elected to drive him to Bethesda North. When Denny arrived, a triage nurse greeted him and rushed him directly back to an exam room. Denny’s symptoms indicated a possible stroke, and within minutes, a CT scan and blood tests were ordered and a neurologist consulted.

Why Acting F.A.S.T. is Key

“Early recognition of whether a stroke is caused by a clot or bleeding within the brain is really important for the most effective treatment,” says Nicole Brown RN, BSN, emergency staff nurse who cared for Denny. “Had Mr. Johnson needed a stroke team for a clot, everything was in place to administer treatment. In Mr. Johnson’s case, we found a bleed in his brain. We constantly monitored and treated him over a few hours until he was ready to be transferred to the ICU for ongoing care.”

In the following days, Denny’s leg and arm continued to be paralyzed. He entered a rehabilitation program within the hospital to relearn daily living activities and ultimately to walk again. He spent two months at Bethesda and was discharged with full use of his arm and leg.

He’s grateful to the ED for the immediate assessment and treatment he received and for connecting him with excellent rehabilitation services within the hospital. “They took great care of me and got me where I needed to be.”

Tags: Heart

Last Updated: February 25, 2015