HealthWatch: Stroke Awareness

The warning signs of stroke

Green Bay (WFRV) Stroke kills more than 130-thousand Americans each year- that's 1 out of every 20 deaths.

Would you know if someone you love is having a stroke? In healthwatch Chelly Bouott tells us the signs of stroke- including the not so common ones.

Donna Detrie is still recovering from the effects of a stroke, "I'm learning to walk and my fine motor skills," said Donna Detrie, patient.

Last June donna was at work, "And all of a sudden I was I'm dizzy," explained Donna.

The dizziness did go away-  but then the next day, "I started combing my hair and I went oh there's two everything is double on the walls," said Donna.

So Donna's husband, Tim, took her to the hospital. Donna had suffered a small stroke, "They kept me overnight but everything went back to normal again," said Donna.

She went home- but still wasn't feeling right- so three days later Tim took Donna back to the hospital.

"The neurologist at that time noticed that she significantly declined when they called me they mentioned she's basically in a coma," explained Ziad Darkhabani, MD, stroke and interventional neurologist, Aurora BayCare Medical Center.

That's when she was transported to Aurora BayCare Medical Center and Dr. Ziad Darkhabani,  a stroke and interventional neurologist.  He diagnosed Donna with Basilar Artery Thrombosis, a very rare type of stroke in the back of the head, "If we do nothing around 85-percent of patient don't even make it," said Dr. Darkhabani.

It was too late for clot busting medicine, "So the only option for her in this difficult scenario would be where the patient became comatose was to consider going with the catheter and try to open the vessel," said Dr. Darkhabani.

And remove the clots, "I used two different systems one system which is a suctioning system almost like a vacuum and I suctioned the clot throughout the whole vessel," explained Dr. Darkhabani.

Dr. Darkhabani then removed another clot using a stent technique. 

Do you know the warning signs of stroke? Remember the acronym FAST for the warning signs of stroke- Facial weakness, Arm or leg weakness, slurred or difficult Speech- Time to call 911. But a stroke in the back of the head can have different warning signs, "Double vision, vision changes, feeling imbalanced or feeling the world spinning around you," said Dr. Darkhabani.

Donna needed speech and physical therapy and she's getting better- but she still has a long road ahead of her, "Slow, that's the only trouble with it, its slow but it's improving," said Donna.

If you have any warning signs of stroke you should immediately call 9-1-1. The faster you get to the hospital - the better your chances for recovery. 

To learn more you can call AuroraBayCare at 866-938-0035 or email


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