Picture of Craig Family at 2018 Stroke Award Celebration at UM Prince George

Life Saving Stroke Care at UM Capital Region Health

Imagine going home after a visit with your primary care physician and not feeling quite like yourself then suddenly realize that you may be having a stroke.

On February 22, 2018, after Mrs. Craig’s visit to her primary care physician, she was alone in her home when she suddenly started experiencing symptoms she thought could be a stroke. She was unable to use her cell phone, even though it was in her hand.

She knew if she could make it to the front porch she could get help quickly. When her husband soon arrived he knew something was wrong. She was able to yell, “call 911!” While en route to the hospital, EMS contacted University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center (UM PGHC) to provide an early alert about being en route with a patient experiencing stroke symptoms. This was an all too familiar call and staff were on standby and ready.

After arriving at the hospital and completing a quick scan from the emergency room physician, Mrs. Craig was taken to the radiology department for a Cat Scan. During the initial examination, Mrs. Craig was unable to speak. She had a facial droop and weak on her right side. The stroke team suspected a large brain blockage and immediately ordered a CT Angiogram (CTA), a process used to evaluate blood vessel disease. In addition, the team ordered a tPA, a clot-busting drug that when promptly administered can save lives and reduce the long-term effects of a stroke.

CTA results showed that a clot retrieval process was needed, a procedure not currently offered at UM PGHC, therefore, Mrs. Craig was promptly transferred to University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). Upon arrival to UMMC, Mrs. Craig’s blood flow returned to normal, a likely result of the tPA that was administered earlier–the additional procedure was no longer needed. Mrs. Craig received continued care at UMMC until she was transferred to National Rehab Hospital (NRH) for acute rehab.

Due to the deliberate, timely, multidisciplinary interventions by UM PGHC’s stroke team, Mrs. Craig was able to return home with no paralysis and full body functionality.

On Friday, March 16, 2018, Mrs. Craig returned to UM PGHC, but for a different reason. She was invited back to share her story during a Stoke Awards presentation. As she shared her story and exchanged smiles with familiar faces, she expressed gratitude to staff. With her husband by her side, she stood strong and uttered two words that everyone understood held great meaning, “thank you.”