Sunday, July 31, 2016

Leslie's Story

Leslie Houston, a stroke survivor, wrote her personal story for the American Heart Association. She feels her story is important to pass on and so do I. You can find other stories like this if you visit the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association sites. There are many stories, and informative articles there about stroke and much about heart attackes and other like issues. Please visit these sites:                                       

Here is her story.
My name is Leslie Houston, I am a stroke survivor. At the time my stroke happened I was on a 9 hour drive. I was going from Garden City, KS to Springfield, MO on my way to see John, a friend of mine. A week earlier we were going to move me to live with him. Halfway around El Dorado, KS, I got a really bad headache. I was about a mile away from El Dorado and have been on this road so many times I knew exactly where I was. This also took me 2 years to remember that I almost drove my car off the road. So I stopped at the park and took 3 aspirin and laid on the ground thinking as soon as the aspirin kicks in, I will hit the road. It was about 1 PM in the afternoon, Oct, 2, 2008. I couldn't do anything. I remember waving at a little girl. I spent the night in my car.

The next morning I drove 5 hours. For 2 to 2 1/2 hours I had major visions. I believe the Lord drove me for awhile. There was one area where the only thing I could see is a hole showing the center of the road. Visions mellowed out by the time I got to busier roads. When I made it to John's, he was at work for a while and was mad at me. "Where have you been?" he asked. I said "I am sick, I am sick and I really have a bad head ache." He went and got me some medication and 1 1/2 hours later I told John, "somethings wrong." John took me to Cox Hospital in Springfield, MO. I was there for a week and they sent me to a Hospital in KS for 4 days and wanted to send me to Wy. I remember saying "no, I wanted to be with John." I am very lucky my mother taught me to get educated and I knew to exercise. I went back to Garden City, KS and told my Doc I need to go to school.

I explained to my doctor that I had an extreme head ache for many months. I couldn't understand words or talk correctly. As I learned more about stroke victims I saw that we are all dealing with different affects of the condition. I can use my legs and hands while others have lost their ability to do so. Most people don't know I am a Stroke person. The size of the Stroke in my brain is, 7.5 3.6 2.5 cm. I am trying to get Doctors to send Stroke people right out the gate to school or speech classes. Please it is extremely important for people like me. I am now going to Ivinson Memorial Hospital, Speech Language Pathologist, Shelley Barton, M.S., CCC-SLP, I have been seeing her for over 2 years. Now I also see Shelly Coulter, M.S., CCC-SLP, 2 Shelley's. Anyway, Doctors please do this for people. Most of us can't talk, therefore, we are not acknowledged.

Thank you for the time to read this, it is important.

Thank you,
American Heart Association

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Get With The Guidelines-Stroke

I want to thank Monica VestWheeler for posting here on our blog this past month her articles and pictures of our recent camps. She is a great photographer with the ability to get that photo that captures the emotion of that exact moment. THANK YOU MONICA!!!
Stroke patients’ outcomes better in hospitals using guidelines-based program


Stroke patients treated at hospitals participating in a guidelines-based program are more likely to be discharged home and less likely to die within 30 days and one year, according to a new study.

The study, published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, showed that patients who received treatment at hospitals participating in Get With The Guidelines-Stroke (click on this link for more details) were 10 percent more likely than those in non-participating hospitals to be discharged home, rather than to a rehabilitation center or other facility.

Furthermore, 30 days and one year after discharge, patients from participating hospitals were 7 percent to 8 percent less likely to have died.

The findings mean that participating hospitals would discharge 12 more stroke patients home for every 1,000 patients than non-participating hospitals, and 34 fewer patients would have died within one year.

Get With The Guidelines-Stroke, established by the AHA/American Stroke Association in 2003, helps hospitals provide stroke patients with the latest, most effective treatment for stroke. More than 1,600 hospitals have registered to receive patient management toolkits, access to workshops, decision support and many other resources.

“We know that in the past the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke program was associated with improved processes of care, such as appropriate medications and other interventions to prevent complications,” said Sarah Song, M.D., lead author of the study and an assistant professor in neurology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. “Now we know that this improved care translates into improved clinical outcomes.”

For the study, researchers analyzed data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service for 366 hospitals participating in Get With The Guidelines-Stroke and 366 non-participating hospitals. About half of the 173,985 Medicare stroke patients in the study received treatment at hospitals participating in the program.

A stroke is a medical emergency that occurs when a blood vessel bursts or is blocked by fatty substances or a blood clot, interrupting blood flow to the brain. Without immediate treatment, cells in the brain begin to die, resulting in brain damage, paralysis or even death.

Stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States, killing someone about every four minutes. The F.A.S.T. acronym is used to help people recall key symptoms of a stroke: face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, time to call 911.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Lots of ooohs and aaahs at Ohio camp

By Monica Vest Wheeler
Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp Staff Volunteer

The beauty of Stroke Camp is that every weekend is different, and that's why it's a healthy addiction for our staff and volunteers.

It's all because of who is there, and why each camp is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Our founder and executive director Marylee Nunley has always said that whoever attends a camp is there for a reason … making unique connections, learning new life lessons and so much more. I like to think it's also taking life to new heights.

Our second annual camp in Ohio was no different. Thanks to our sponsors, OhioHealth and the OhioHealth Rehabilitation Hospital, we had a most amazing June weekend at the Salt Fork Lodge & Conference Center in Lore City.

I learned so much from these stroke survivors and their caregivers this weekend, as I do at every Stroke Camp. Life truly is about being connected to one another, and these folks "get" it …

Monday, July 4, 2016

Much to celebrate with gift of music at Strike Out Stroke

By Monica Vest Wheeler
Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp Staff Volunteer

Despite what the headlines tell us, there is much to celebrate in America this 4th of July week. That was emphasized this past weekend at our annual Strike Out Stroke event at the Peoria Chiefs, sponsored by OSF HealthCare and Illinois Neurological Institute.

This year our Dream Team featured individuals who survived their stroke at an early age, and that's why they're wearing our new T-shirt, "Strokes aren't just for seniors." We're seeing more and more young survivors at our Stroke Camps across the country.

We were fortunate to feature the Chime Strokers, a tone chimes choir made up of stroke survivors and caregivers here in the Peoria area. They performed while survivor Randy Randall sang "God Bless America" and caregiver Monica Mugavero sang the National Anthem.

Enjoy their performances as the soundtrack for images from the evening.