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Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center’s Comprehensive Stroke Center Helps Glendora Woman Return to Life as Normal within Days of Her Stroke

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Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center’s Comprehensive Stroke Center Helps Glendora Woman Return to Life as Normal within Days of Her Stroke

Glendora resident Barbara Gesselman, 60, knew something was wrong when she woke up for work one recent morning. After attempting to stand, she fell off the bed. Barbara realized the right side of her body was numb and she was unable to speak. As experienced registered nurses, Barbara and her husband Don quickly realized she was experiencing a stroke and called 9-1-1 immediately. Paramedics rushed Barbara to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center’s (PVHMC) Comprehensive Stroke Center.

Minutes after arrival, doctors prepared her for interventional radiology, a minimally invasive, image-guided procedure to determine the area for treatment. PVHMC neurosurgeon Dr. Nazli Janjua found a sizeable blockage in Barbara’s brain, and performed a thrombectomy, a type of surgery to remove blood clots from inside arteries or veins.

After successful surgery, Barbara regained control of her facial muscles, could speak and easily move the right side of her body. In just three days, Barbara was discharged from the hospital. She briefly used a walker and cane for walking, and will soon participate in physical therapy to maintain her strength. She looks forward to getting back to life as normal.

“I’m grateful that my husband was home with me when the stroke occurred,” says Barbara. “You don’t have to be a health professional to know the signs of the stroke. Time is the greatest factor in getting help for a stroke and it’s important that people of all ages know the symptoms in order to get immediate help for someone they love.”

May is National Stroke Awareness Month and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every 40 seconds someone in the U.S. experiences a stroke and about every three minutes someone loses their life to the condition. Stroke is a leading cause of serious long-term disability, and reduces mobility in more than half of stroke survivors age 65 and older. Many studies have found that patients experience better health outcomes when they receive immediate emergency medical treatment by hospitals that follow the American Heart Association’s stroke guidelines.

“A stroke is a medical emergency and every second counts when seeking treatment,” says Dr. Janjua. “The faster the patient identifies the symptoms, the sooner they can get to the hospital and the faster we can treat them.”

PVHMC’s Comprehensive Stroke Center is certified by the Joint Commission and the American Heart Association for providing the highest level of care for stroke patients. The program addresses the rapid assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of stroke and heart failure patients admitted to the emergency department. PVHMC has been providing comprehensive stroke services to the region and surrounding communities since 2010.

The American Stroke Association developed the acronym BE FAST to identify the potential signs of a stroke.

BALANCE: Sudden loss of balance or coordination

EYE: Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes

FACE: Facial droop, uneven smile

ARM: numbness, arm weakness

SPEECH: Slurred speech, difficulty speaking or understanding

TIME: Call 9-1-1. Get to PVHMC/hospital immediately

To learn more about PVHMC and its Comprehensive Stroke Center, click here.