Lindas Stroke StoryMar 3, 2020
Linda Voigt, stroke patient, Florida Medical Center
Earlier this year, Linda Voigt experienced what many would call a miracle. She woke up early one morning feeling restless and went to the bathroom. When she got back into bed, her husband, Jim, noticed something wasn’t right. He tried to talk to her, but she couldn’t speak, and the corner of her mouth was turned down.
Jim called 911, and it wasn’t until EMTs arrived that Linda realized the entire right side of her body was paralyzed. Although she only remembers bits and pieces of that morning, she does remember the EMTs talking to her on their way to the hospital.
“I understood and knew that I wanted to respond, but I couldn’t do it,” she says.
Linda was experiencing the classic signs of a stroke, which EMTs identified right away. They decided to take her to Florida Medical Center, a Comprehensive Stroke Center capable of treating the most complex stroke cases.
Once at the hospital, the medical team found that Linda had a blood clot in her brain. Since no one knew for sure exactly when her symptoms first started, she wasn’t eligible to receive the clot-busting drug tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). Dr. Ritesh Kaushal, interventional neurologist, performed a procedure to retrieve Linda’s blood clot through a catheter in her groin.
“Dr. Kaushal spent a ton of time with us and was great at answering all of our questions,” Linda remembers. “Everyone I came into contact with was professional, pleasant and extremely knowledgeable.”
Linda received a full work-up and was discharged in good health. About two weeks later, however, she woke up with her heart racing and knew she needed help. By the time she arrived at Florida Medical Center, Linda’s heart rate was 190, and she was told she was experiencing atrial fibrillation (AFib), an abnormal heart rhythm characterized by rapid and irregular beating.
Since AFib was likely the cause of her stroke, Dr. Henry Cusnir, interventional cardiologist, prescribed her medication to treat the condition and decrease the chance of another stroke occurring. Since then, she hasn’t had any further issues concerning her physical health.
Sadly, just a month later, Linda experienced another type of heartache when her husband passed away. Although she is still grieving his death, she is comforted by the fact that if it wasn’t for his quick actions, she might not be here today.
Linda is also grateful to have a Comprehensive Stroke Center in such close proximity to where she lives. “It saved my life and has allowed me to have the quality of life I have now,” she says. “I have no lasting effects after suffering a stroke, which is truly a miracle! The doctors and staff at Florida Medical Center went above and beyond, and I appreciate everything they did for me. I feel extremely fortunate.”