HONESDALE, PA — Larry Resti, 69, never paid much attention to risk factors for stroke until he had one in February of 2020. In fact, in addition to being a heavy smoker with high blood …
HONESDALE, PA — Larry Resti, 69, never paid much attention to risk factors for stroke until he had one in February of 2020. In fact, in addition to being a heavy smoker with high blood pressure, he admits he had “white coat syndrome”—a fear of doctors.
Not anymore. Now, he thanks doctors and other healthcare providers, particularly those at Wayne Memorial Hospital, for saving his life and, just as importantly, restoring his hope.
“I’ve learned a lot,” said Resti who now attends a monthly stroke support group at the Wayne Memorial–Good Shepherd Inpatient Rehabilitation Center. “Thank God for these people.”
On the day of his stroke, Resti experienced some of the classic signs, including a sudden inability to use utensils while eating. Knowing those signs is vital because every minute counts in saving brain tissue. (See box on page 14.) He was rushed to Wayne Memorial Hospital, a certified primary stroke center.
Stroke is one of the top five causes of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of disability.
May is National Stroke Awareness Month. Wayne Memorial and other healthcare providers are emphasizing education and prevention measures. Controlling risk factors, talking to a medical professional about your risks, focusing on a healthy lifestyle—these can all greatly reduce an individual’s potential for stroke.
At Wayne Memorial, a stroke alert team is available 24/7. The emergency department also has round-the-clock access to a board-certified neurologist via telehealth and is authorized to administer the only FDA-approved drug for ischemic stroke, tPA (tissue plasminogen activator). This clot-busting medicine can be very effective if given as prescribed.
“It’s been a journey,” Resti said. He had the stroke just six months after retiring from New York to Wayne County. But comprehensive medical care, rehab therapists, his wife Jane and others have helped him to be positive. “I’m very lucky to have these people in my life,” he said.
Stroke support group facilitator Janene DuBois notes that the group is often a lifeline to bring stroke survivors back into the world. “It offers support, respect, compassion and laughter,” she said. “We’re like a family.”
Find out more online at www.wmh.org.
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