Dora Carrillo was at work when she felt a sharp pain in her jaw. The pain then travelled to her head. She felt faint. The left side of her face was drooping. Something was very wrong. Her co-workers called 911 and emergency medical personnel brought Dora to Huntington Hospital.
Co-workers also contacted Dora’s daughter, Ashley Lopez, and asked her to meet them here. When she arrived, one of our social workers met with Ashley and let her know her mother had experienced a stroke. “I was in shock,” says Ashley. “Mom is such a strong, beautiful, vibrant woman. She’s only 47. I never thought this could happen to her.”
Dora had a clot in her neck, and needed surgery right away. Ian Ross, MD, treated her using a carotid artery stent to open up the artery and a clot-removal technique known as mechanical thrombectomy. While Dora was in surgery, Gloria Contreras, RN, stroke coordinator, was on hand to support Ashley.
“Someone was with me the whole time,” Ashley says. “Gloria comforted me and she and the rest of the team talked me through everything that was going on. It made me feel like I wasn’t on my own. It was as if I had another family away from home. As awful as something like this is, the hospital’s staff made it as easy as they could for us.”
Dora came to us on a Friday. By Sunday, she was able to walk, talk and eat on her own — and well enough to go home. Today, she is back to her old self. “There are a lot of hospitals near me,” she says. “I feel blessed that I was taken to Huntington Hospital. The experience was really the best it could be, and I recovered so fast. I’m not ready to go yet!” she adds, “and I’m forever grateful that the doctors and nurses there have the training and speed they needed to save my life!”