Testimonial: Alicia Didia
It happened so fast, so unexpectedly and without warning. I had just returned home and wasn’t in the mood to cook dinner, so I grabbed a frozen pizza out of the fridge. To my surprise, the instructions on how to cook the pizza were blurry.
The next thing I remember, my son Scott was kneeling over me asking if I knew my name. I could see my name written in the air, just floating there, but I couldn’t say it. Scott ran outside to get my eldest son, John, and they attempted to give me water. As the water dribbled out of my mouth, they realized I could be having a stroke.
Within minutes, the ambulance arrived at the house and brought me to Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center. Fortunately, the results from my CT scan showed there were no signs of bleeding in my brain, which most likely meant I was suffering from an ischemic stroke, which occurs when an artery to the brain is blocked.
To confirm the diagnosis, Dr. Arun Talkad, neurologist and director of the primary stroke center at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, performed several tests. He showed me picture cards and told me to describe what I saw, but I wasn’t able to put my thoughts into words. I also had difficulty repeating simple words.
The tests confirmed that I was having an ischemic stroke. Dr. Talkad gave me an injection of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a clot-busting drug and blood thinner, and miraculously, five minutes later, I was talking to the doctor like nothing had happened. When he told me I just had a stroke, I couldn’t believe it!
There are so many people I am forever grateful to for being alive and well today. First, my sons for recognizing what was going on and calling 911 right away. If I was home alone, I probably would have gone to sleep and I’m not sure if I would have woken up. Secondly, the North Palm Beach Fire Rescue crew who noticed my symptoms and called the hospital ahead of time so they could prepare for my arrival. Most of all, I want to thank Dr. Talkad and the stroke team at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center for their quick actions in diagnosing, treating and saving my life before it was too late.
This testimonial reflects results achieved by this patient. Each case must be independently evaluated and managed.