By Tracy Simons, Silver Cross Hospital
It was the day after a tornado swept through Manhattan, IL last November. Vince Walsh, a construction chief specializing in pipeline work, was holding a meeting in the field when it felt like someone had punched him between his shoulder blades and neck.
A warm feeling quickly rushed through his head. His vision became blurry. Walsh felt nauseated. Luckily, someone called 911.
The 44-year-old was rushed by ambulance to nearby Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox where a Code Stroke Team was waiting. A CT Scan in the Emergency Department showed a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), a kind of bleeding into the brain.
Dr. Richard Burgess, one of three neurointerventional radiologists with the Silver Cross Neuroscience Institute, confirmed a ruptured aneurysm. He immediately took Walsh to theendovascular lab where he performed a cerebral angiogram to see exactly which vessels were involved. Dr. Burgess then coiled the aneurysm to stop the bleeding.
“Typically half of the people with SAH don’t survive and those that do are often dramatically disabled,” Dr. Burgess said. “Vince not only survived but is thriving due to the rapid transport by EMS, quick identification in the ED, and immediate availability of neurointerventional services for diagnosis and treatment at Silver Cross.”
Silver Cross Hospital is designated as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission with a staff of experienced specialists offering the full continuum of care, from diagnosis to treatment to rehabilitation, 24/7.
After a 14-day stay in the ICU followed by another few days in the hospital’s step-down unit, Walsh went home not needing any further rehabilitation.
“Dr. Burgess and his entire team were excellent. They saved my life,” Walsh said. “I am back to work and other than a little bit of short-term memory loss, I am doing great. I tend to write everything down anyway, so it’s not an issue for me. I even quit smoking, which Dr. Burgess tells me is a risk factor of stroke and other life-threatening conditions.”
Act FAST to Save a Life
A stroke occurs every 40 seconds in the U.S. When it comes to stroke and other conditions of the brain, it’s critical that treatment be started quickly. First and foremost, get to know the most important acronym in stroke: FAST.
- Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of their face seem to droop
- Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward
- Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
- Time: If you observe any of these warning signs, it’s time to call 911 immediately.
To learn more about the warning signs of stroke and treatment available at the Silver Cross Neuroscience Institute, request a free Stroke Awareness Kit at www.silvercross.org/neuro or 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).
About Silver Cross Hospital
Silver Cross Hospital is a not-for-profit health care provider serving Will County and southwest suburban communities since 1895. Silver Cross has been recognized as a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for seven consecutive years and as a Hospital of Choice by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers.
With over 3,000 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a 289-bed acute care hospital and 5 satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices. Silver Cross opened a state-of-the-art replacement hospital on February 26, 2012 at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox. In 2013, Silver Cross provided over $48 million in charity care and other community benefits. To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, go to http://www.silvercross.org/ or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).
Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care. These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.