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Ron Edwards, Alabama

by Molly S. on Monday, September 10, 2012

Ron Edwards, Alabama

I’m a proud husband and father of four children.  At the age of 48, I had very few health problems until I went to work on May 3, 2012.

That morning around 7:15 am, I suffered a stroke.  I could barely speak.  Somehow, I told a co-worker I was having a stroke and to get me an ambulance.  I knew what was happening and I was scared.  I was very coherent and could hear all the chaos and everyone talking. 

The responders quickly took me to the hospital and everyone worked under my assumption that I was having a stroke.  I didn’t felt pain at any given time.  As I lied in the hospital, I could tell I was rapidly getting worse each hour.  I couldn’t remember simple things anymore.  Even my sister-in-law could tell I was getting worse.

I remember the hospital setting up a video conference with a doctor in another hospital in Huntsville, who analyzed me on TV.  He offered a treatment plan to my wife, letting her know she only had seconds to answer about something that could have killed me.  But they made it clear that there is only a 3 hour window for this medicine for stroke patients to survive the stroke.  We only had 30 minutes left before my window closed.

I clearly remember the nurse filling out the consent form after my wife approved it, asking me if I wanted to sign it.  Believe it or not, I took the clipboard from them and signed my name just as clear as any other day.  I tell my wife that took the heat off her if anything went wrong.  However by 10:15 am that morning, God answered our call!  I was administered the medicine and within 45 minutes, my speech returned to normal and I had no visible signs of having a stroke.

After an hour or so I was joking around with everyone, but as I constantly remember the whole morning I get very upset.  My mother had a stroke when I was 10 years old.  She became paralyzed and couldn’t speak for the rest of her life; I really thought that was going to happen to me.

Fortunately, that’s not how my story ends.  I returned to work eleven days after my stroke.  I enjoy life with my wife and children.  My story truly reveals the importance of recognizing the signs of a stroke, to call 9-1-1 immediately, and how important that three hour window is for stroke patients. When it comes to stroke, time is of the essence!