Douglas Tapking – Time is critical
Doug is a stroke survivor, volunteer and advocate from California passionate about helping others who have had a stroke.
Four years ago (January 8, 2016), I had a serious stroke. Family and friends recognized my classic symptoms. Without hesitation, they immediately sought emergency services. As a result, I have “fully” recovered; well no one comes out of a stroke untouched, but in my case, I am really good!
I am now fully involved in stroke advocacy. I enjoy sharing my “stroke story” advocating for additional research, timely assessment and appropriate treatment. I am a strong patient advocate. Frequently I am called upon to chat with survivors and caregivers give public presentations etc. As a survivor, I am in a unique position to help. Many times, listening carefully as they share their fears and concerns is all that is needed. Other times helping them find appropriate resources to help them through the difficult times of recovery rehabilitation and their integration into the “new” normal life is key. Frequently they feel all alone as their family friends and co-workers treat them very differently or ignore them completely.
Many times, in the emergency surrounding a stroke, family, friends and even medical services are not adequately equipped to address the issue in a timely fashion. People this is a REAL debilitating, forever life-changing or life-threatening, health emergency! Time is critical. Brain damage and recovery are dependent on immediate assessment, timely and appropriate medical action. These are tenants of reduced damage and swift recovery. Unfortunately, not all emergency services or hospitals are adept at this.
I frequently tell people; Location, location, location. Where are you when the stroke occurs? How close are the emergency services? Where is the nearest Stoke center? What is the location and type of stroke you are having? Do you know where the nearest fully staffed and equipped stroke center is? I certainly did not. Fortunately, new emergency services stroke protocols had been put in place and I was quickly routed to the stroke center.
Immediate stroke recognition and timely sequential treatment, are the critical twin pillars of a successful recovery.