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Fit And Well Idaho: Former Stroke Patient Explains The Traumatic Experience

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By Brittany Cooper

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) Time is of the essence when it comes to treating a patient experiencing signs of a stroke. The longer one waits, the more brain cells actually die from not having brain flow.

Phil and Rayetta McInturf have been married for 30 years. One day after an appointment with the oncologist, Phil started to feel odd. They made it all the way home to their house in Pleasant Valley, when Phil turned to Rayetta...

"I just looked at her and said, you better take me back to the ER, something's not right," explains Phil.

Rayetta adds, "all the way home I was asking him questions, who he was, where he lived, I guess I've learned to be on the ball a little better, the address he gave me was an address from before we got married."

Phil had suffered a stroke.

St. Luke's Magic Valley Stroke Coordinator Stephanie Shawver says, "he came in the time window where we could give him TPA, the clot busting medication, he came in with a significant stroke, with some pretty significant disabilities. We were able to give that TPA and he was discharged from our hospital completely symptom free."

Rayetta now works at St. Luke's because of how well they were taken care of during the traumatic experience.

"I've never been in a hospital, in a facility, that not only is the patient so well taken care of, but the family members, close friends, they look out for you too," adds Rayetta.

FAST is an acronym most commonly associated with the signs of a stroke. F stands for face when a patient's face droops. A stands for arm, when an arm drifts downward S is for speech. Is the person slurring their words? And then there is T for time.

Emergency Physician Dr. Matthew Larsen explains, "we need to have as much time as we can to evaluate somebody to determine whether they're eligible for the TPA medicine and then give that medication."

As for Phil, he has fully recovered from the stroke, something he and Rayetta are eternally grateful for.

St. Luke's Magic Valley was recently named a Primary Stroke Center of Excellence. The hospital offers a stroke support group monthly.

The next meeting will be March 14th at 1 p.m. in the St. Luke's Magic Valley Medical Center, Gwen Neilsen Anderson Rehabilitation Unit Dining Area.

March’s Education Topic “Reducing Risk Factors to Prevent Future Stroke” presented by Dr. Cheri Wiggins, MD