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After almost a month of inpatient rehabilitation in Portland, she returned home on her husband’s birthday and is now leading a full life. Tarbox commented: “I’m so glad I could come back and do what I did before and be involved in my kids’ lives.”
CRH Urges You to Recognize Stroke Symptoms and the Need for Immediate Action
Calais, Maine — Tyra Tarbox is a 45 year old mother of four from Cumberland who suffered a significant seizure resulting in a stroke late one evening after returning home from work. Luckily, her husband was there and he took quick action, calling 911. She was rushed to the hospital, evaluated and quickly flown to a Boston hospital for surgery. When she awoke six days later, Tyra had no body movement and could not move her eyes to the right. She had survived not only a stroke, but also a series of complications resulting from her brain’s lack of blood.
Dr. Cressey Brazier, CRH ED Medical Director, urges all community members to quickly recognize stroke symptoms and call 911.
Tyra’s story is one of many stories of Mainers who have had a stroke. Unfortunately not all the stories end so happily. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in Maine and the United States and is also a leading cause of serious long-term disability in adults. The Maine CDC/DHHS Cardiovascular Health Program is working with the Maine Affiliate of the American Stroke Association and other state-wide partners to help more Mainers recognize the symptoms of stroke and the importance of calling 911 at the first sign of stroke. Each May additional time and focus is given to stroke during National Stroke Awareness month.
Every Maine resident plays an important role in quickly recognizing stroke symptoms and the need to call 911. The faster emergency medical services are called, the faster they will arrive to help, and to get patients to the hospital for needed treatment.
Early recognition of stroke symptoms is critical – time lost is brain lost. Stroke symptoms include sudden:
Numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg
Dizziness or loss of balance
“Survival and recovery for stroke depend on a team approach,” said Dr. Cressey Brazier, CRH Emergency Department Medical Director. “Bystanders must recognize symptoms quickly and call 911 immediately, so that medical attention can be given right away by emergency medical services and hospital emergency providers. The goal is to help Mainers understand the vital role they play in responding quickly to stroke. Stroke is a medical emergency requiring an immediate call to 911, and if we can increase people’s ability to quickly recognize the symptoms and call emergency responders, we can positively impact survival and quality of life among those suffering stroke in Maine.”
Nearly 75% of all strokes occur in people aged 65 years and older. Risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, and a history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes also increase the possibility of stroke.
More information about Strokes is also available at the following websites: www.mainehearthealth.org and www.strokeassociation.org.