Eric Wilson – Stroke Success Story

All work and no play …

For Eric Wilson, it led to a mini stroke

Eric Wilson with his wife Jackie and daughter Kelsey. Eric Wilson's wife, Jackie, and daughter, Kelsey,
are thankful to have him healthy – and for the
great care he received at Methodist Mansfield

Just as Eric Wilson’s professional life calmed down, his body acted up — with an emergency.

“For 20 years I worked three jobs, working 18 hours a day, six days a week,” he says. “I learned as a kid that if you want something, you have to work for it.

“I guess you could say I worked so much that finally my body couldn’t keep up with me.”

Before the stroke, the Midlothian resident had switched to a new job, one that allowed him to come home and eat dinner with his family for the first time in two decades. Things were going great, but the long years and long hours coupled with a family history of heart problems had taken a toll.

“My dad has had four heart attacks, but I had had no issues up to that moment,” Eric says.

Creeping up

undefinedOn Sept. 5, 2013, Eric was walking down a flight of stairs at his work when he found himself unable to walk any farther.

“I looked down, and it looked like the stairs just dropped off,” he says. “I sat down and told my co-workers to call 911. They rushed me to Methodist Mansfield right away.”

Emergency staff nurse Heather Farrell, RN, was the first person to see Eric at the hospital. She saw the possible signs of a stroke and immediately reported them to the on-call physician.

Eric then went through Methodist Mansfield Medical Center’s Code Stroke assessment, which includes a CT scan and evaluation from a neurologist. Within
20 minutes, Eric had been diagnosed with a transient ischemic attack, or mini stroke, caused by high blood pressure. Blood transfusions brought his iron back to a normal level and brought him back to a stable condition.

“Our goal with strokes is to deliver the highest-quality care at the most efficient rate,” says Ketan Trivedi, MD, emergency department medical director at Methodist Mansfield. “Every second counts, and we take responsibility in coordinating with EMS to meet patients at the door and get them started on tests the minute they enter our hospital.”

Looking up

The morning after the stroke, Farrell and the team walked Eric through the changes he needed to make in his diet to get him back on his feet.

“Since the stroke, I’ve been diligent about what I eat,” he says. “I take my blood pressure medicine according to each checkup. I’m healthier than I was before, and I look forward to spending time with my family.

“Because of my new job, I get to watch my daughter grow up instead of seeing her mostly in pictures. And because of Methodist Mansfield, she gets to do the same with me.”

Fast action

When it comes to stroke signs, it’s important to think FAST. Learn how to identify warning signs by visiting MethodistHealthSystem.org/FAST.

From the fall 2014 edition of Shine magazine