Visit to the hospital turns out to be a lifesaver when visitor becomes stroke patient

Carol Rose, stroke patient, North Shore Medical Center

Our-Stories-Carol-RoseCarol Rose was on her way to North Shore Medical Center to visit a friend when she ended up in the middle of her own health crisis.

“My good friend Chantel had asked me to accompany her to North Shore Medical Center to visit her husband who had surgery, and I gladly accepted the invitation. That’s what friends are for,” says Rose.

But while she and Chantel were having lunch before their trip to the hospital, Rose started to experience strange symptoms. She had trouble drinking through a straw and her face started drooping.

Chantel told Carol she thought she was having a stroke and that they should go to North Shore  right away.”

Once the pair arrived at the hospital, Chantel didn’t waste any time letting the nurses know that her friend was possibly having a stroke.

“I believe they are angels who came to my rescue," says Rose. Chantel said she has never seen anyone work that fast before. Time is of the essence when someone is having a stroke and they were extremely prepared. 

Within minutes, Rose was in a wheelchair on her way for treatment in North Shore’s Primary Stroke Center. She was evaluated, and treatment began immediately.

“They saved my life. I don’t remember much about that day, but I do recall wanting to see my family again,” says Rose.

Rose was born with a heart defect that was surgically corrected when she was 35. Since then, she’d had other medical conditions and surgeries throughout the years, but hadn’t experienced any cardiac or neurological issues until the stroke.

“I know now that I was literally in the right place at the right time," says Rose. "Because of the staff's quick response, I am alive and healthy today."

North Shore Medical Center is equipped to handle a stroke and the staff is trained to respond as fast as possible. The hospital has received numerous awards for stroke care from prestigious organizations like the Joint Commission, the American Heart Association and Healthgrades.

Now Rose urges everyone she knows to be aware of the signs of stroke so they can help others the way Chantel helped her. The signs are easily remembered via the acronym F.A.S.T.: Face that droops, Arms that are numb or drift downward, Speech that slurs, and Time, which is of the essence.

“I would have never imagined that I would be a victim of a stroke. I consider myself to be a very active 65-year-old woman. I exercise regularly and walk my toy poodle ‘Magic’ every day,” she says.

“Since my stroke, my life is back to normal. I had some speech therapy for a few months, but that was the extent of it. I’ve learned how to slow down and enjoy my daily walks, running errands and spending time with friends like Chantel,” says Rose.

As a stroke survivor, Rose doesn’t take life for granted. She has two grown children she enjoys visiting.

“I have so much to look forward to,” she says, “especially becoming a grandmother one day!”