An estimated 1 in 50 Americans have an un-ruptured brain aneurysm, or a weak area in the wall of an artery that feeds blood to the brain. One rupture occurs every 18 minutes with 40 percent resulting in a fatality; 66 percent of survivors have a permanent neurological deficit and 15 percent die before they reach the hospital.
In answer to this growing issue, Memorial Medical Center, in partnership with SIU School of Medicine Neurology and Clinical Radiologists, developed the Aneurysm & Stroke Screening Program to help identify and prevent ruptures. Read the rest of this entry »
You could say Brad Knapp had it all: a beautiful family with the recent addition of a sweet baby girl, a successful career as a chemical engineer at Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), and a healthy workout regimen including hitting the gym every day for endurance to pursue his passion for water sports.
Just about the last thing on the 37-year-old Decatur resident’s mind was the possibility of a stroke. But that quickly changed last February.
In the middle of the night, he woke up to give his then 6-month-old baby, Paloma, a bottle. His 12-year-old son, Caleb, and 8-year-old daughter, Aubrey, were asleep in another room. He started fumbling around. Hearing the noise, his wife, Brooke, went in and turned on the light and saw him fall to the floor. Read the rest of this entry »
Leroy Jordan and Dr. Elias
Leroy Jordan is a man who appreciates structure. He rises at 6 a.m. each morning and almost always eats the same cereal for breakfast. After taking medication to manage his diabetes, he settles into his recliner to read the morning paper. Then, it’s a quick shower and on a good day, a visit to the gym.
But Feb. 25, 2015, was different. Read the rest of this entry »
Sheila Huey talking to Dr. Elias
Sheila Huey suffered from blinding headaches, a swollen-right eye and double vision. Initially, the symptoms were thought to be associated with a bad sinus infection. The truth revealed a large aneurysm was growing in her brain.
It took two long months for Sheila, who also suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS), to be diagnosed. Thankfully, a visit with an eye doctor set her on the right path.
“He came in the room and immediately said, ‘I don’t mean to scare you, but you need to see a neurologist. You have an aneurysm,’” said the 52-year-old, lifelong Arenzville resident. “I couldn’t believe it. It was the farthest thing from my mind.” Read the rest of this entry »
It’s always the perfect time to learn the warning signs of a stroke, but this week is especially timely as World Stroke Day approaches on Thursday.
“We want to encourage the people in our profession and the community to pay it forward by taking the time to learn a simple screening. It only takes five minutes to learn and could save a lot of lives,” said Amanda Conn, RN, who serves as Memorial’s stroke center program coordinator for neurosciences.
The test is called FAST, which is an acronym for Face, Arms, Speech and Time. Here’s how the FAST screening works: Read the rest of this entry »
Mike Dulakis was progressing through his normal workout Feb. 3 at Taylorville’s Lock Up Gym, lifting weights from a seated position, when everything changed. The 39-year-old guard for the Taylorville Correctional Facility was “training to failure,” a common weight-lifting strategy. Without warning, he slid out of the chair onto the floor in what felt like slow motion.
He doesn’t remember much after that.
“I was trying to get up, and I didn’t understand why I couldn’t get up,” Mike said.
A paramedic working out at the gym recognized the signs of stroke, and gym personnel called 911 immediately. Read the rest of this entry »
Barbara Arenz and her grandaughter, Calli
After a long day of work last March, Virginia native Barbara Arenz decided to relax by watching one of her favorite shows—Grey’s Anatomy. It showed a patient undergoing a unique treatment, where a special drug was given to make the cancerous parts of the brain glow during surgery.
“I’d never heard of anything like it before,” said 57-year-old Barbara. “I thought it was weird but really incredible too.”
One week later, Barbara would undergo a similar treatment when it was discovered she had a four-inch tumor growing in her brain.
“What are the chances?” she said.
It started simply enough. First, it was vision problems that she just attributed to getting older. And then there was the ongoing headache she thought was just part of her chronic sinus infections. However, when she started to run into walls, her doctor told her to go straight to the emergency room—and fast. Read the rest of this entry »
Brianne Buckmaster didn’t know what was happening to her when she was rushed to Memorial Medical Center in the early morning hours of a January winter.
She knew something was wrong when she tried to get out of bed and promptly fell on the floor. What she didn’t know yet was that she had had a stroke. But she was only 22. And she was 13 or 14 weeks pregnant.
Fortunately for Brianne, her father heard her fall and checked to make sure she was OK. He called 911, and an ambulance was soon whisking her to Memorial Medical Center. Read the rest of this entry »
In the past, few treatment options existed to stop a stroke, especially if the patient didn’t make it to the hospital within the critical three-hour window of time. Depending on the type of stroke and the amount of time until treatment begins, the effects of a stroke can be devastating.
And while strokes are still a serious health event, thanks to new technology, a stroke can be stopped for some patients. Read the rest of this entry »
Whether or not you’re likely to have a stroke depends on many risk factors—some you can control and others you can’t.
Stroke is the third-leading cause of death for women and the fourth for men, says Amanda Conn, coordinator of Memorial’s Stroke Center and a registered nurse. Four out of five strokes could be prevented if patients had known about and appropriately managed the more common risk factors—cholesterol and blood pressure, for example.
However, other not-so-obvious factors may indicate you’re at risk of a stroke. In most cases, you can take action to reduce or eliminate these risks. Read the rest of this entry »