What comes to mind when you think of a stroke patient?
I bet it’s not Lorane Smith, a 35-year-old wife and mother from Mayfield. Smith is a picture of health. Besides taking care of her three young children, she is a pharmaceutical sales representative and an avid runner. She also is a stroke survivor.
Smith and Western Baptist neurologist Joseph Ashburn, M.D., will speak at a free stroke awareness lunch seminar May 8 in the Baptist Heart Center auditorium. Dr. Ashburn will speak on stroke prevention and care, while Smith will speak about her recovery. Space is limited, so reservations are required by phoning (270) 575-2851.
“I looked at my hand and arm and nothing moved,” she said. “I couldn’t walk. We’re all at risk of having a stroke. You just never know.”
Paramedics took her to Western Baptist, the region’s only certified stroke center, where Dr. Ashburn administered the clot-busting drug tPA. The drug can reduce long-term disability if given within three hours after a stroke starts.
After her stroke, tests revealed she had a hole in the heart or patent foramen ovale (PFO), a condition that increases stroke risk. Cardiologist Kenneth Ford, M.D., later corrected the heart defect.
Smith admits her recovery was challenging, but being fit helped her regain her strength quickly. She is back to running each morning with her friends.
Anyone with questions about the symptoms of stroke may speak to a Western Baptist nurse on the hospital’s 24-hour Chest Pain and Stroke Hotline at 1-800-575-1911.