Page 53 - Wallingford Magazine Issue 23, Summer 2019
P. 53

This thought horrified me, and panic took hold. I’m a very active person. I have a new granddaughter that I love to play with. I have a beautiful active wife that I’ve been making retirement plans with. We have a lot of things left to do together. I like my life just as it is, or at least as it was up until now. I tried again to move, and my left side responded but now my left hand was shaking just like my right hand did before I lost control of it. “In a few short moments I’ve gone from a fit, active, strong, and confident man of 58 years, and I’ve been reduced to a pile of shaking meat on the ground, unable to even crawl or stop myself from shaking. When the stroke hit, I went down and there was no way I was going anywhere under my own power. It was totally and completely incapacitating.
I heard the siren of the ambulance getting closer. Help on the way does bring some reassurance. Upon arrival, they took stock of me and confirmed that yes, it looked like a stroke, and time was of the essence. Their first question was, “What time did it start?” My glance at my cell phone when the headache started came to mind and in my slurred speech, I managed to blurt “10:37 this morning.” The EMT counted the elapsed time to himself, then said to the others, “We need to move fast!” “MidState or Yale Hospital?” he asked me. “MidState” I managed.
I stop here for a minute and say, “Thank you.
Thank you so very much for being an EMT. I’m very glad you know how to do what you do. I did not get your names but thank you to all the EMTs. Thanks for doing what you do.”
We arrived at MidState and were presented with the usual questions, including “what time did this start?” The EMT conveyed the pertinent info to the ER personnel. I was now surrounded by a lot of hospital personnel, determining the best course of action. Someone came over to me and looked me right in the eye and asked if I could understand them and I communicated “yes.” This person then proceeded to confirm that yes this is a stroke, that I have a large clot lodged in the back of my head that has to be removed ASAP, and they are not equipped at this hospital to do what needs to be done. Panic returned. I don’t know much about strokes, but I do know that time is critical. You have a certain window of time before permanent damage is done, except I didn’t know what that window was. How much time do I have? Do I have time to get to another hospital? What if there’s a traffic jam? What if we’re too late? What if...??
LifeStar was the best way to get me to Hartford Hospital. It was already at MidState. Into the back they wheeled me, slid me in and fastened some latches on the stretcher. We lifted off and were flying.
WINNERS
From Our Spring Issue
          First place: $100
No One
Winning answer:
Nobody got this. Many got it wrong!
Second place: $50
Kelly Cyr
Winning answer: The East Center Soccer Fields facing the farm
Third place: $25
Kris Overstrum
Winning answer:
Section of the mural at the Wallingford Public Library
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