Coordinated care for lasting stroke recovery
“How could this happen?”
That's what Karen McQuarrie asked her husband’s neurologist at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center after he suffered a stroke. Ron, aged 69 of Colville, Wash., had no major history of medical problems and is now recovering after multiple blood clots in his carotid artery caused his stroke, one cause of strokes in the United States.
Ron was at his part-time job when a co-worker noticed something was wrong.
“She saw him fidgeting with his face and glasses, and then Ron started rubbing his forehead,” Karen says.
“When she started asking him if he was ok, he slumped over in his chair and ended up on the ground.”
First responders took Ron to Providence Mount Carmel Hospital. There, providers consulted with a neurologist at Sacred Heart over the Telestroke system who assessed and ordered a tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA), a medicine given through a vein that helps dissolve the blood clots. From Colville, Ron was transported by Life Flight Network to Sacred Heart for endovascular clot retrieval, removing the blood clots from his brain.
“The surgeon removed five blood clots and didn’t know if Ron would have much function because of the extent of his stroke,” Karen says. But, Ron began responding very quickly. “The day after his surgery, he was awake and alert. The next day, we walked in and he said ‘hello’ to me. The therapy team had him standing and feeding himself in no time.”
Ron was soon transferred to St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute to continue the work of rebuilding brain function impaired by the stroke. While at Sacred Heart and St. Luke’s, Ron received occupational, physical and speech therapies.
“Everything, at all three hospitals was amazing with how they handled and coordinated his care,” Karen says about Ron’s overall experience.
“I would recommend Providence and St. Luke’s to anyone. Getting Ron in a hospital focused on rehab was crucial to helping him get to where he is now.”
Ron returned to his hometown for additional skilled nursing support and recovery. Karen says she couldn’t be more grateful for the many medical professionals that provided care—from the point of his stroke to where he is now with weekly outpatient speech therapy sessions.
“I know he’ll never be 100 percent, but his recovery has been amazing,” says Karen. “I only have kind words for what everyone did to help him.”
Learn more about Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center's Neuroscience Institute and St. Luke's Stroke Program and how their coordinated care, from immediate acute care to focused rehabilitative medicine, can help in lasting recovery.