Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Emergency Medical Technition - EMT

The Question: by Mary Runnalls - When you had your stroke how long did it take for you to get to the hospital? Do you think there were consequences because of that or not?

The Answer: by Gary Gray - Thanks for your question Mary. My first indication was when I went to order a coffee at a local coffee shop and I had no voice, none, nada. Next, Left side weakness. Fortunately they called 911 and EMT's arrived within 10 minutes. I blacked out before they put me in the ambulance. Even though there was a hospital only 5 minutes away I would be transferred twice and go to a special brain unit. Over 6 hours would elapse before they did the first cat scan. It confirmed a bleed deep in my brain. Family and friends were with me around the clock. After four more days they took a second cat scan. Then, the next day (6 th post stroke) I was transferred to an acute care hospital. On the 10 th day post stroke I was transferred to a rehab unit and suffered another episode during the transfer. It took me another 12 days before I came out of my coma. A full 22 days post stroke. I guess all things considered I am fortunate to be as good as I am. I spent another 60 days post coma in rehab and acute before I was released to live with my caregivers. There were still lots of issues to work through and another 9 months before I moved to the apartment where I continue to live a basic Independent life. Being able to drive and do some volunteer work came back about 12 months post stroke.Apparently stress was the main cause that made my BP go through the roof and cause the bleed. There have been others in our community that have had this happen to them. Unfortunately I can't talk to them because none of them survived. They say 20% survive. that's 1 in 5 or 2 in 10. It looks like I was the 1 in 5. What more can I say. : ) - Gary

Want to see more answers to the question? Cilck Here to read more and visit the "Stroke Survivors Who Love Life" page


  1. I got to the hospital within 30 minutes, 60 minutes later I received tPA. Because my stroke was so massive and my brain cells so weak, I killed half my motor cortex and all of my premotor cortex. It did save my life, but because there is no other hyperacute treatment a lot of the damaged cells died. There is a vast need to come up with other therapies bacause of the small % that are able to get tPA in time and those that have strokes while sleeping or bleeders.

  2. Thanks,

    Great points! Your timeline of an hour and thirty minutes to tPA IS amazing. We agree that there are lots of cases as you mentioned where tPA may not be an option. Since time is brain it is imperative that stroke be treated as an emergency. Know the signs and call 911. It could mean saving someones life.