Shelly Gallatin – Stroke Patient Success Story

Inspirational healing

At Methodist Charlton, one stroke patient finds the compassionate care she needed

Hanging on the wall in Shelly Gallatin’s home is a work of art with messages like: “Cherish every moment,” “Show compassion,” and “Believe in miracles.”

They’re the kind of words that keep you going through challenges — and Shelly has had many, especially with her health.

The most recent incident happened last December, when she had a stroke. She’s grateful for the team at Methodist Charlton Medical Center, who worked quickly and with compassion to save her life.

Every minute matters

That evening, Shelly, 44, was fighting nausea and a severe headache. She had her fiance drive her to a nearby outpatient emergency facility, where the staff was unsympathetic and unresponsive to her quickly worsening symptoms.

“I started getting really hot, then really dizzy,” Shelly says. “My vision blurred, and then I noticed I lost the use of my left arm. I thought I was going to pass out.

“I then lost the use of my right arm, my right leg, and I could barely talk because my speech was slurring.”

Shelly’s fiance called 911, and an ambulance raced them to Methodist Charlton.

Finding compassion

“Once they confirmed I was having a stroke, they gave me TPA, and within 15 minutes, I could talk normally and my leg was back to normal,” Shelly says.

TPA, short for tissue plasminogen activator, is a drug that breaks through blood clots, restoring blood flow to the affected vessel and tissue. In the case of a stroke, the blood supply is cut off to an area of the brain, which disrupts normal functions like movement and speech.

“There is a three-hour window for patients experiencing a stroke to receive TPA, and thankfully Shelly made it in time,” says Yong He, MD, the neurologist who treated her at Methodist Charlton. “It’s so important that anyone experiencing stroke symptoms — slurred speech, one-sided weakness, numbness, facial droop — calls 911 and gets to the hospital quickly.”

Hope for the future

When Shelly went home from the hospital two days later, her only deficiency was a pain in her right arm and shoulder. She’s been working with an in-home physical therapist twice a week since then.

Stroke patients can have recurrences, including mini strokes, so her neurologist prescribed a medication to help prevent other blood clots from forming.

Because Shelly’s family history also includes stroke, she is sure to follow up with Dr. He, and she is grateful for the guidance.

She praises the care she received at Methodist Charlton and has every confidence in turning to Dr. He and the hospital for care in the future.

“I had wonderful, wonderful nurses,” Shelly says. “One in particular, I can’t remember her name, was amazing. You could tell she loves what she does.

“Ultimately, I’d rather go to Methodist Charlton than anywhere else. I had such a good experience.”

TIME EQUALS LOST BRAIN POWER

Learn the signs of stroke so you can get your loved one immediate help. Go to our Health Library at MethodistHealthSystem.org/HealthLibrary and search "stroke."