Stroke awareness campaign wants you to B.E. F.A.S.T.

HOBART, Wis. (WBAY) - A Hobart man is proud he can now talk well enough to share his incredible story of surviving a stroke.

Scans of a stroke victim who received a stent (WBAY photo)

"They just started in on me and they just performed a miracle, because I was in rough shape by the time I got there," says David Granius.

As part of Stroke Awareness Month, you might start seeing a new acronym to encourage people to recognize more warning signs of a stroke and get help sooner if they try to "B.E. F.A.S.T."

One night last August, the normally active and healthy 58-year-old awoke around midnight and immediately knew something was wrong.

"I had fallen asleep during the Brewers game, and I grabbed my phone to check and see who won, and my hand wouldn't work right," says David.

"I thought maybe I had slept on it wrong or something, and I laid back down, but I started feeling kind of funny and started thinking, this isn't a good idea," he continues. "I got up and tried to say something, and all that would come out of my mouth was just mush."

He stumbled down the stairs, barely able to walk by that point, and found his wife.

"I had to actually point at the phone and my face and she said, 'You want me to call 911?' I was --" he nods vigorously -- "yeah, and I got that done in the nick of time because I was just running out of gas fast," he recalls.

An ambulance rushed David to Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay.

"Luckily, Dr. Darkhabani was the only one in town that could handle the situation and he happened to be on duty," says David.

"The fact that he came to us in a really good time, right after his symptoms started, that made the biggest difference. Every minute, around two million cells will die," says Dr. Ziad Darkhabani, Aurora BayCare Medical Center interventional neurologist.

Darkhabani says David had an uncommon type of stroke caused by a tear in the vessel of his carotid artery.

"It stopped here, the vessel," says Dr. Darkhabani, pointing to scans. "And that's unfortunate because he did not have enough blood supply to the left side of the brain."

Dr. Darkhabani inserted stents to get blood flowing again, with David awake through the entire procedure.

"I could hear him saying, 'His brain's not liking this,'" David recalls. "'We're going to have to do this a different way.-"

And it worked.

David had seen news stories and billboards with stroke warning signs, and knowing to act quickly saved his life.

Doctors are now encouraging everyone to B.E. F.A.S.T., watching for ways to recognize and respond to a stroke:

  • (B) balance difficulties; and

  • (E) eyesight difficulties, in addition to the existing list of

  • (F) facial drooping

  • (A) arm weakness

  • (S) slurred speech, and

  • (T) time to call 911

"I got lucky. Everything just seemed to work out," David adds, smiling. "It was pretty miraculous."

Aurora BayCare Medical Center is certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center. Click here to learn more about that designation.

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