Stroke woman saved by quick-thinking husbandBy Stephen Lloyd
November 19, 2012
STROKE victim Penelope Gould is leading a normal life again thanks to clot-busting drugs and her husband’s quick-thinking.
He spotted the warning signs straight away from a TV advert and called 999.
It meant Mrs Gould was able to get to Frimley Park Hospital quickly enough to receive drugs that cleared the blood clot in her brain.
She has now made a near full recovery and is back to enjoying hobbies such as gardening and making dolls houses at her home on the Elvetham Heath estate in Fleet.
“I was amazed at how quickly I have recovered after this treatment," said Mrs Gould.
"People can’t believe I’ve had a stroke. I owe Frimley Park my life.”
Mrs Gould, 68, was at home on a Friday lunchtime in February this year when she realised something was wrong.
When her husband David, 67, saw her he immediately knew what to do.
“I had seen the NHS advert about stroke on the telly," he said. "The side of her face had fallen and she couldn’t speak properly. I knew right away she’d had a stroke and I called the ambulance."
Mrs Gould was at Frimley Park Hospital within an hour.
“I was pretty much out of it but all the way along everybody was brilliant at keeping my husband fully informed of what was happening,” she said.
A hospital spokesman said Mrs Gould had a CT scan, which confirmed the stroke was caused by a blood clot in her brain.
"That meant she was suitable to receive a relatively new treatment called thrombolysis, where drugs are administered to break up blood clots," he added.
"The treatment can result in near miraculous recoveries from strokes that until recently would have been fatal or left the patient with severe disability.
"However, it isn’t suitable in all cases, for example if the stroke is being caused by bleeding in the brain rather than clotting or if the patient has other medical conditions that make treatment too risky.
"Crucially however, the drug must be administered soon after the stroke first happens in order to be effective. So early recognition of the symptoms is vital."
The spokesman said the treatment is now provided round the clock at Frimley Park and other hospitals, supported by an innovative telemedicine network.
"Frimley Park is also providing more community support for patients so they can spend less time in hospital and more time recovering at home in order to get back a normal life as quickly as possible," he added.
Mrs Gould said she was able to go home after about a week.
"The physios and other members of the team have been pushing me and encouraging me all the way and that has really helped,” she said.
It meant Mrs Gould was able to go on holiday and fly on a plane just two months after her stroke.
“I’m very active now – almost as much as I used to be," she said.
"I’m just a little bit shaky, but I can complete tiny details on my dolls houses already."