Know the signs of stoke, act FAST

Posted at 3:40 PM, Jan 26, 2016

A regular day quickly turned to crisis for 19 year old Arianna Dolton.

In September 2015, the new mom had a stroke, that left her arm and face weak on the right side, and essentially unable to speak.

"I knew who everyone was but I just couldn't get everything out, I couldn't talk," says Arianna.

She called her mom, who took action. She called 911 immediately.

And that's what her doctor says made all the difference. A stroke patient loses around 2 million brain cells every minute.

"The chain of survival starts with the patient recognizing the stroke symptoms," says Dr. Anmar Razak MD, Medical Director of Stroke & Neuro Interventional Services at Sparrow Hospital.

Dr. Razak and Sparrow Hospital's stroke rescue team removed a blood clot from Arianna's brain

Even though having a stroke at age 19 is rare, Arianna's symptoms are a good, "fast" reminder, for all of us.

"'F' for face, 'A' for arms, 'S' for speech which is what she presented with and then we add the letter 'T' at the end to emphasize the importance to call 9-1-1, 'T' for time," says Dr. Razak.

Sparrow Hospital has the only comprehensive stroke center in the area that allows doctors to deal with all kinds of strokes.

Most stroke patients are 65 and older and have some of the risk factors of stroke.

"Hypertension, diabetes, smoking is a big one," says Dr. Razak.

Now, four months later, Arianna has made what her doctors call an "impressive" recovery.

She's walking, talking and spending all her time with little Marcos.