Paula Goodridge, remembers the phone call from her mother well. As the Maryville Mosaic emergency department and respiratory therapy director, she recognized the symptoms her mother shared about her father’s stroke.

“I was getting ready for work when my mother called, saying my father had fallen,” says Paula. “I heard my father’s voice in a very slurred manner say, ‘my left hand is not working.’ Being a nurse in the ED, I immediately knew that the slurred voice and difficulty using his hand were a sign of stroke.”

John was rushed to the emergency room at Mosaic Medical Center – Maryville where Paula met them at the door. It was determined that John suffered a right-sided stroke that affected his left side and speech at the age of 77. He was admitted for care in Maryville.

“We immediately began treatment with the amazing physical, occupational and speech therapists in Maryville,” Paula noted. “He showed signs of improvement with each passing day.”

John would end up needing long term stroke therapy. The care managers and social workers at Mosaic Medical Center – Maryville were able to get him accepted at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, NE, where he spent 28 days improving.

“Bringing him back home was worth all the work he had done in those 28 days,” says Paula. “Although he still has residual weakness and memory problems, he has learned to adapt and continues to live independently.”

Reflecting on the experience with her father, Paula is reminded of the critical importance of stroke education and awareness not just for health care professionals but for the community.

“Talking frequently about the BE FAST symptoms and reinforcing that immediate treatment leads to better outcomes can save even one person from having long-term effects from a stroke.”

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