Stroke is a medical emergency demanding fast identification and early action for the best outcomes. “Think BeFAST,” Wael Mostafa, MD, Carle Neuroscience Institute, said. The acronym B.E.F.A.S.T. helps people recognize the signs of a stroke.
B - Balance: Watch for sudden loss of balance;
E - Eyes: Check for vision loss;
F - Face: Look for an uneven smile;
A - Arm: Check if one arm is weak;
S - Speech: Listen for slurred speech;
T - Time: Call 9-1-1 right away. With strokes, immediate action can help prevent brain damage and long-term disability.
Residents in central Illinois with stroke needs have access to the certified Comprehensive Stroke Center at Carle Foundation Hospital. And while a focus on the specific health needs and outcomes that come with stroke has been a foundational element to the Carle Neuroscience care team for decades, the additional Comprehensive Stroke Center certification brings even more expertise to the region.
Ashley Crider and her husband Matt experienced the service and quality of the Neuroscience Institute before and after the certification. Ashley suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhagic stroke after a weak part of the wall in an artery in her brain ballooned and burst in 2019. The advanced neurosurgery she needed was available close to home. She shared her story in June of 2020, offering how her family’s deep trust in God and Carle’s expert services converged to give her the greatest chance of recovery.
Since then, Ashley is making positive progress after her aneurysm surgery with Dr. Mostafa. With her surgery behind her, she can focus on enjoying life with her husband and three children, ages 13, 11 and 7.
“Everything is good. There are still some lingering effects, but all things considered we are doing well,” the Criders share. Ashley has returned to a modified work schedule helping out her father at his business a couple of days per week and assisting her husband at their local church on the other days. And though her husband is playing a bigger role in managing the household, they continue to work on short-term memory skills as her recovery is a journey they continue to walk together. “The family dynamic has changed, but God is faithful,” Matt says.
It’s hard for the Criders to imagine what could have happened if several key elements of Ashley’s stroke didn’t play out the way they did. If she hadn’t been working at her father’s office that day, if her father had already left the office, if the emergency department doctor at the initial hospital she went to wouldn’t have known to transfer her to Carle Foundation Hospital, if the family didn’t have such strong faith. Things could have ended up very different.
“One of the many benefits of being a Comprehensive Stroke Center is that the care teams have the training, technology and experience needed to begin treatment as soon as stroke patients of any complexity arrive,” Dr. Mostafa explains. “We are equipped to provide neuro-critical care at the highest level and have advanced imaging capabilities at our disposal 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And our surgeons have experience and competency in performing complex procedures such as endovascular coiling or surgical clipping and thrombectomy.”
The Carle system is home to some of the most advanced neuroscience services and technology available. The family of hospitals all play a part and work together to provide patients with the life-saving care they deserve. Carle BroMenn Medical Center is a Primary Stroke Center that, like Carle Foundation Hospital, offers an inpatient rehabilitation unit for patients recovering from a stroke, or other illness or injury. Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center, Carle Eureka Hospital and Carle Richland Memorial Hospital are Acute Stroke Ready Hospitals, meaning teams there are ready to begin stroke care and transfer patients to a higher level of care as needed.
“Ashley Crider’s case was complex. We were happy to be there for her when she needed us,” Dr. Mostafa said. “It feels rewarding to be part of a team capable of providing such critical benefits to our patients.”
Categories: Redefining Healthcare