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"Emergency Medical Services Week" Highlights Stroke Survivors and Awareness
Date:5/16/2012

eek resident, mother of two daughters (12 and 2), wife and commercial real estate specialist. In December 2011, she suddenly felt "a bolt of lightning" go up her neck. Everything then started spinning, her arms and legs became paralyzed, and she felt the right side of her face begin to droop.  Sullivan knew enough about stroke symptoms to recognize them and acted quickly by having a friend call 9-1-1. Medic One professionals quickly responded and transported her to Swedish Cherry Hill, a Level 1, Comprehensive Stroke Center. A Code Stroke was immediately launched and she underwent advanced imaging to study the brain tissue and circulation, which concluded she was having a potentially deadly stroke. The stroke team acted quickly and administered the clot-busting medication. After a short stay in the Neuro Critical Care unit, she moved on to the rehabilitation unit where physical and occupational therapists worked with her to regain her independence. Eventually, she was able to return home and live independently with her husband and children.

Harborview Medical Center/University of Washington Medicine: Pamela Melendez, 56, of Bainbridge Island, was living a full life despite an accident that had left her a paraplegic.  Then one day in 2009 she had the sudden onset of speech difficulties and her right arm went limp. Knowing something was very wrong, she immediately yelled out, and her daughter called 9-1-1. Melendez was having a stroke and was immediately airlifted to Harborview Medical Center.  Quick action by her teenage daughter, skilled paramedics, Airlift Northwest and the UW Medicine medical teams at Harborview led to the administration of a clot-busting medication known to improve outcomes after stroke.  Today, Melendez suffers no lasting effects of the stroke. Through the UW Medicine emphasis on research, she was also able to participate in a research study looking for the best way to prevent strokes that may be related to a sm
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