Testimonial: Joey Bulfin
Working at St. Mary’s Medical Center for over three decades, I never thought the day would come where the very same hospital I worked for, would have to save my own life.
I began working as an RN in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in 1980 and was promoted to Chief Nursing Officer in 2005. My hard work and dedication paid off, and six years later, I advanced to Chief Operating Officer, responsible for St. Mary’s daily operations.
I exercised regularly, didn’t have any heart issues, didn’t smoke and wasn’t overweight. Overall I was healthy and had none of the typical risk factors, so my stroke came as a complete surprise to me.
During my usual morning workout at the gym, I stepped onto the treadmill and immediately felt strange. I was nauseous, had blurred vision and felt a heavy sensation on the left side of my body.
From my nursing background, I instantly recognized these symptoms as signs of a stroke. I had my husband drive me to St. Mary’s Medical Center, knowing I would be in good hands at the hospital’s comprehensive stroke center.
The stroke team performed tests that confirmed the diagnosis. Within an hour of the incident, the team administered tissue plasminogen activator, (tPA), a medication that assists with the breakdown of blood clots. I began feeling like my normal self almost immediately.
I was then transferred to the neurointerventional suite, where Dr. Ali Malek, Medical Director of the Neurointerventional Program and the Stroke Program, discovered the source of my stroke. Apparently, the inner lining of an artery in my neck had somehow become damaged.
I spent two days in St. Mary’s intensive care unit, receiving outstanding care from all of the doctors and nurses while going through extensive follow-up testing. Amazingly, after I was discharged, I returned to the hospital two days later, not as a patient, but as an employee.
My life as I now know it could be very different if it wasn’t for the quick response of the stroke team at St. Mary’s Medical Center. I am so grateful to be able to continue working, making sure St. Mary’s runs as efficiently and effectively as possible to better serve patients like myself.
This testimonial reflects results achieved by this patient. Each case must be independently evaluated and managed.