LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – An Arkansas woman is thankful to be alive after suffering a stroke that could have left her unable to walk or speak. It could have had a much different outcome if it weren’t for the quick thinking of her husband.
Charlotte Ballard goes through what looks like just a regular checkup at Baptist Health. As she completes each task with flying colors, it’s hard to believe just a year ago she suffered a stroke.
“I got up early like I usually do getting ready to cook and I just didn’t feel good,” Ballard said. “It’s like the porch light is on but nobody is home. It’s just like you’re in a fog.”
She was on a walk with her husband C.E. that morning when he started to notice the signs.
“She could not understand the questions that I kept repeating to her,” Ballard said.
As a physician himself, he knew something was wrong.
“My instinct was just get in the car and go,” C.E. Ballard said.
By the time they got to Baptist Health, Charlotte was unable to walk.
“The left side of the brain is at risk of stroke and that’s because the blood flow to that area has been compromised,” Vascular Neurologist Janhavi Modak said.
Dr. Modak quickly took her to the lab.
“Under X-Ray guidance, we take our devices up to the vessel which is blocked and then we either use a suction type of device and that can engage the clot or pull the clot out mechanically,” Dr. Modak said.
The procedure was a success.
“Fifty-two hours later, I walked out of the hospital,” Charlotte said.
“It was the most amazing thing that I’ve ever experienced as a physician,” C.E. said.
Now, a year later, Charlotte is doing great with no lasting effects.
“It’s been a real miracle,” Charlotte said.
A miracle doctors say wouldn’t have been possible if they hadn’t gone to the hospital when they did.
“Thank you, God. Thank you C.E. and Thank you Baptist,” Charlotte said.
Now, she hopes her story educates others that if something feels off it probably is.
“Pay attention to yourself. Don’t just let it slide, don’t just think ‘oh this will pass,'” Charlotte said.
Baptist doctors and nurses say a helpful acronym to remember stroke symptoms is B-FAST. B stands for balance, E for eyes like loss of vision, F for face as in if one side is drooping, A stands for arms if there is weakness on one side, S for speech and T for time because it’s important to get to a doctor as quick as possible.