10-year-old hero recognized these life-threatening symptoms

10-year-old hero recognized these life-threatening symptoms

Every parent teaches their child general safety rules; Never get into an unknown car, know your name, phone number and address, never touch a hot stove and never wander alone.

Kimberly never imagined that her 10-year-old daughter would recognize life threatening symptoms and save her life. Like many parents, Kimberly was juggling e-learning and working from home as stay at home orders were implemented.

One April morning, instead of her usual run, she decided to try out a new boxing program in her bedroom under the watchful eye of her daughter.

A few minutes in, a shockwave of pain hit Kimberly’s body. Then she collapsed. Kimberly was having a stroke.

“I remember looking at my daughter and thinking how strange the pain was,” says Kimberly.

She doesn’t remember her daughter dialing 911, but she recalls hearing a voice on the other line. As Kimberly was being taken to the hospital, her brave daughter, using the new phone she received for her birthday, texted her family’s chat line to inform them of the incident.

“As I think back to the evening prior, I was slurring my speech while speaking with my sister on the phone, but attributed it to exhaustion,” recalls Kimberly.

Every 40 seconds someone experiences a stroke in the U.S.

“During a stroke, time is brain,” says Dr. Demetrius Lopes, director of Advocate Health Care’s stroke program.” “Kimberly’s daughter is a hero whose fast acting saved her mom’s life. The time between a stroke and receiving medical care is critical in preventing brain damage.”

Remember the acronym B.E.F.A.S.T. to identify a stroke:

B: Balance Loss

E: Eyes, meaning vision is blurry

F: Face drooping

A: Arm drooping to one side

S: Slurred speech, difficulty speaking or being unable to speak

T: Terrible headache and Time to call 911 if you notice any of the above

“Treatment depends on the severity of the case,” Dr. Lopes says. “For Kimberly, we removed the clot with a catheter and through minor therapy she was able to return slowly to her normal routine.”

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About the Author

Neda Veselinovic
Neda Veselinovic

Neda Veselinovic, health enews contributor, is a public affairs coordinator at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. She has more than five years of public relations experience and most recently worked with clients in the travel and hospitality industries. She prefers to spend her time with a cup of coffee and a good read and always welcomes book recommendations.