Tim Byus knew the signs of stroke; he paid attention when medical information was posted on social media sites just in case the worst happened. So when it did happen to him, as he was washing dishes at home, he knew he needed to get to the hospital quickly.
"It felt like a sinus infection all the sudden," Tim says of his first indication of the stroke.
"About a minute later, it moved across my face to my ear. I told my wife I was going to call 911, but she said she couldn't understand me and that she was going to call."
Paramedics took Tim to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center where he was admitted for three days in intensive care. He received the tissue plasminogen activator (or tPA), which is considered the gold standard treatment for ischemic strokes. According to the American Heart Association, tPA needs to be used within three hours of having a stroke or up to four and a half hours in certain patients. This makes seeking immediate treatment for strokes crucial.
"They were absolutely wonderful at Sacred Heart," he says about his care before being transferred to continue his recovery at St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute. Leaving Sacred Heart, Tim couldn't stand on his own, but quickly made improvements with occupational and physical therapies.
After only a few days, Tim returned to Sacred Heart after suffering two more strokes. Again, he returned to St. Luke's determined, he says, to go back home able to walk and do the things he enjoyed doing in retirement. After a few weeks in inpatient care at St. Luke's, Tim was able to go home, walking and living life to the fullest.
"I give the credit to how well I'm doing now to the care I've received along the way, especially St. Luke's therapists," Tim says. "They worked me hard and I worked hard for them."
Tim also says his positive attitude throughout his rehabilitation is a major reason he's back driving his 1975 Mercedes convertible.
"I never in my wildest dreams thought that I'd have a stroke," Tim says. "Now, I am back able to do the cooking, dishes and my walking is getting better. I was very fortunate. I tell everyone how great Sacred Heart and St. Luke's are."
Learn more about Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center's
St. Luke's Stroke Program
and how their coordinated care, from immediate acute care to focused rehabilitative medicine, can help in lasting recovery.