Flora Crooks is having a great 2011. In fact, things started looking up for her right after she had a stroke last year.
“2010 was not my year,” said Crooks, 82, of Paducah. “I stayed in the hospital a lot of different times. A lot of it was my blood pressure. But I’m a new person now because God did a miracle.”
It was likely high blood pressure that caused Crooks’ stroke. She had just sat down to watch TV when her right arm started tingling.
“I couldn’t lift my right leg,” she said. “I knew something was going on and it wasn’t right. I pushed my daughter’s number and made some kind of noise.”
Her daughter called 911 and arrived at the same time as the ambulance. Crooks was treated at Western Baptist Hospital’s emergency department 35 minutes after the initial call to her daughter.
Western Baptist is the only certified stroke center west of Owensboro. The hospital recently received the Bronze Quality Achievement Award for stroke treatment from the American Heart and American Stroke associations.
Dr. Brian Hawkins, an emergency department physician, said the stroke team works together when they are notified a possible stroke patient is on the way.
“We act as a team to get everything together to see if we can administer tPA,” Hawkins said. “It’s very important to get here quickly. Mrs. Crooks had the best outcome I’ve seen of a stroke that large treated with tPA. It’s really amazing.”
The clot-busting tPA – tissue plasminogen activator – can reverse or reduce the debilitating effects of stroke if given within three hours after a stroke starts.
Crooks has no lingering side effects of the stroke.
“I just feel so blessed,” she said. “I’m doing fine. I work in my yard and pull weeds. I’m active in my church. They tell me I am the bouncing ball of joy. I have told so many if you feel you are having a stroke, it is better to go and find out you’re not having one than to have had one and not be treated.”