While driving home from work, Stacey Yepes, 49, could sense she was beginning to have a stroke.
To ensure others could see what was happening to her, she pulled over, took out her smartphone and began recording.
The CBC reports:
“The sensation is happening again,” the Thornhill, Ont., woman says at the beginning of the video posted on YouTube by Toronto’s University Health Network. “It’s all tingling on left side,” as she points to her lower lip, trying to smile.
Yepes remembers that doctors said to breathe in and out and to try to manage stress, and she says she’s trying.
“I don’t know why this is happening to me.”
About a minute later, she shows that it’s hard to lift up her hand.
“I think it was just to show somebody, because I knew it was not stress-related,” she said in an interview. “And I thought if I could show somebody what was happening, they would have a better understanding.”
After going to Mount Sinai Hospital in downtown Toronto, Yepes was referred to Toronto Western Hospital’s stroke centre.
“In all my years treating stroke patients, we’ve never seen anyone tape themselves before,” said Dr. Cheryl Jaigobin, the stroke neurologist at the hospital’s Krembil Neuroscience Centre. “Her symptoms were compelling, and the fact she stopped and found a way to portray them in such a visual fashion, we were all touched by it.”
Watch to see what a minor stroke looks like as it happens.
The video eventually convinced the doctors that she was having a transient ischemic attack (TIA), also called a mini-stroke. What’s more, physicians are now using the video as a tool to help them better recognize mini-strokes when they’re happening.
In the meantime, if you suspect a stroke, remember the following acronym F.A.S.T.