On May 4, 2011 at 8:20 PM my husband Bruce suffered a stroke in our home. Fortunately, he was not alone when this happened and I was able to summon EMT’s right away. They went to our Bluffton home in approximately 10 minutes, picked him up off the ground, took his vitals and were gone, en route to Coastal Carolina Hospital. He was immediately taken to CT Scan where it was determined he had a stroke and was then connected with Dr. Hays from MUSC via the REACH Program telemonitor. She explained to me that he would be an excellent candidate for tPA and requested permission to have it administered asap, which I readily agreed to. Dr. Bodkin and Ellen Tuten, RN and Davis Andrews, RN, monitored him throughout the drug administration and provided exceptional care to my husband. By 10:40 PM he was en route via Omniflight Transport to MUSC.
I am amazed at how quickly our 911 responders arrived and transported my husband to Coastal Carolina Hospital, how efficient the staff at Coastal was and how we were granted instant access to the MUSC REACH Program Neurologist on that night. Our stay at MUSC was perfect; never once were we in need of anything because the staff frequently checked on my husband. Questions were answered right away and test results were given in a timely fashion. Dr. Jill Blandford would stop in 2-3 times a day and Dr. Matt Luft came in after he performed a TEE on my husband to tell me the results. Dr. Adams came by daily also, and didn’t leave until all of our questions were answered. Not once did we feel these doctors were in a hurry, they all provided us with quality time and it was certainly appreciated!
Because everyone did their jobs efficiently, my husband is no longer experiencing aphasia and right-sided weakness! It is truly amazing to us how smoothly everything went during this scary time and all the blessings we received. Everyone played an important role in curing my husband and we are grateful!
Since this unfortunate incident I have shared his story on the success of the REACH Program and the necessity for fast response when someone thinks they’ve had a stroke. I work as a Hospice RN for The THA Group, which offers home care and hospice services. We use telemonitoring with our patients and now that I have benefitted from the use of telemedicine, I can personally vouch for the benefits of having this system available! Thank you!