As a veteran Allen’s firefighter and paramedic, Jason Denton knew the signs of a stroke. He just didn’t expect to experience these symptoms himself. He and his doctors are calling attention to the warning signs and life-saving treatment for National Stroke Awareness Month.
In early March, after helping with a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Allen, Denton called his brother as he was leaving. During this conversation, his brother immediately noticed that Denton did not look normal. His brother called Denton’s wife Jennifer, who encouraged him to turn around and ask for help.
“From my truck, I caught the attention of a colleague who helped me return to the immunization clinic. It was evident. I had a stroke, ”Denton said. “I had a sagging face and I knew what I wanted to say, but I couldn’t pronounce the words. “
Allen’s firefighters from the COVID-19 clinic called an ambulance and brought Denton to Medical City McKinney, a primary stroke center certified by the Joint Commission. Symptoms of stroke can be identified by the acronym FAST:
F – Sagging of the face
A – Weakness of the arm
S – Speech disorders
T – Time
“When I got to the hospital, everyone on the stroke team was at the door. I went straight to the scanner. After the CT, they immediately administered TPA, ”Denton said.
TPA is an anticoagulant drug that can be a life-saving first-line treatment for stroke. It works to break up the clot that caused the stroke and restore blood flow to the brain.
“TPA is very time sensitive. We need to administer the drug within 3 to 4 and a half hours of symptom onset, ”said Mike O’Neal, emergency physician at Medical City McKinney. “With Mr. Denton, we were able to administer TPA within 15 minutes of arrival, which increases his chances of fully recovering any lost function.”
The “Code Stroke” team at Medical City McKinney administered the life-saving APT to Denton, and shortly after receiving the drug, he was transferred to Medical City Plano for surgical treatment for the stroke.
Jason had a stroke affecting his speech and his right arm. The stroke is a life-threatening event and in Jason’s case it was caused by a clot blocking one of the major arteries supplying blood. blood the dominant cerebral hemisphere, ”said Jazba Soomro, interventional neurologist at the Texas Stroke Institute of Medical City Plano.
“With the help of advanced technology, we were able to perform a procedure to quickly remove the clot from Jason’s cerebral artery and restore blood flow and maximize his chances of better recovery,” said Soomro.
Two months after his stroke, Denton is working on his recovery with outpatient therapy and hopes his story can help save more lives.
“Every day I can feel myself getting stronger,” Denton said. “I can’t wait to get back to work and spend time with my wife and kids. I have a lot of life ahead of me. “