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For local pediatrician Lori Golon, MD, having expert care close to home made all the difference recently when she began experiencing stroke symptoms. What started as a horrible headache, being dizzy and having shoulder pain, turned into a scary experience as she was suffering from early stroke symptoms. She asked her husband to take her to the Emergency Room, and living in Lansing, she had the option of going to a hospital in Kansas City or to Saint John. She chose Saint John as it was close by; she is very thankful that she made that choice.

When someone is having a stroke, time is of the essence.  Getting to the closest Stroke Ready or Stroke Center facility can make an immense difference with stroke recovery and quality of life.

After arriving at Saint John, she was seen by Mark Foland, MD, Emergency Room physician, who immediately recognized what was occurring. An IV was started, she received a head scan and then less than 40 minutes from the beginning of her symptoms, a clot breaking medication was administered and she was sent via ambulance to the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Saint John Hospital is recognized as an Advanced Disease-Specific Care for Acute Stroke Ready Hospital from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. The certification indicates hospitals are equipped to treat stroke patients with timely, evidence-based care prior to transferring them to a Primary or Comprehensive Stroke Center.

This certification demonstrates Saint John’s commitment to providing a higher standard of service to stroke patients, while also addressing the gap in access to acute stroke services.

Dr. Foland explained, ““I evaluated Lori promptly when she arrived in the emergency department.  As I examined her, I noticed she had profound weakness and facial droop on her left side.  I immediately became concerned that she was suffering from a stroke.

“Because of the great team of nurses and staff at Saint John, we were able to quickly diagnose Lori, perform necessary testing and initiate the treatment she needed within an hour of her arrival.” He added. “I am thankful that Lori trusted us because it was her quick decision to come to Saint John that made all the difference in the world.”

Dr. Golon was later transferred to an acute stroke center hospital, where an MRI indicated she was very lucky she had received such prompt, expert care at Saint John. She has no residual symptoms all due to prompt treatment.

“At the time I didn’t realize in addition to my initial symptoms, I had weakness on my left side,” said Dr. Golon “I was so focused on the pain, but I know I was really lucky to have the Saint John Emergency Department near my house.”

“I can’t speak highly enough of Dr. Foland and all of the staff who helped, including Melissa Asbury RN, Melonie Shigley, Registration, Neta Mahan, Laboratory, Terri Reynolds, Radiology, and others at Saint John. They were all awesome and I even had a visit from nurse Peggy Winstead who came to give me a hug and let me know I was going to be well taken care of.”

She added, “Peggy was one of the first Saint John staff to welcome me to Saint John Hospital 21 and half years ago.”