“I just woke up that morning, got my computer and went upstairs to do my work and she was doing her workout,” Sienna said.
“I started working out and felt a wave go through my body,” said her mother Kimberly Livingston. “Looked back and though, that was odd, and then turned around and fell.”
“I thought she fell and it was normal, bit then she couldn’t’ get up and she was mumbling,” Sienna recalled. “I was getting confused and scared.”
Sienna may have been scared, but she quickly grabbed the brand-new cell phone she received for her birthday and calmly called 911. Then she group texted her mom’s family.
“My mom saw the text first and contacted my sister, and everyone went into action,” Kimberly said.
The 50-year-old was having a stroke. She was rushed to Illinois Masonic in time to avoid brain surgery and permanent damage. Her neurosurgeon, Dr. Demetrius Lopes, said timing is critical when treating strokes.
“It could be the difference between permanently disabled or go back to your normal life,” he explained.
Dr. Lopes said it’s important for people to be aware of the symptoms of stroke. The acronym used is BE FAST:
B- Breathing: Is the person suddenly having trouble with balance or coordination?
E- Eyes: Is there sudden blurred or double vision, or has the person lost vision in one or both eyes?
F- Face drooping: Ask the person to smile to see if one side of the face is drooping or numb.
A- Arm Weakness: Ask the person to raise both arms. Is one arm weak or numb, drifting downwards when they do?
S- Speech Difficulty: Can the person speak? Is the speech slurred or hard to understand? Can the person repeat a simple phrase correctly?
T- Time to call 911: If the person shows any of those symptoms, even if they go away, call 911 and get to a hospital immediately.
Knowing the symptoms and getting to a hospital is especially important now, since some COVID-19 cases have been linked to strokes.
And, as in Kimberly Livingston’s case, strokes can happen to anyone with no previous health problems.
Kimberly has made a full recovering thanks to her quick-thinking daughter.
“She went into action. To me it is amazing she was able to do that, keep her wits about her and basically saving my life. It’s a blessing,” she said.
“I feel happy with myself for doing that,” said Sienna.
World Stroke Day is October 29.
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