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Security Officer Saves Patient Suffering Stroke

Kaweah Health Security Officer Wendy Rodriguez Hernandez saved the life of a patient suffering a stroke at Kaweah Health. Watch as she explains her heroic deed.

When Minutes Matter

Time waits for no one and neither does a stroke. On April 21, 2021, Sgt. Jason Kent, 41, from the Dinuba Police Department was working a graveyard shift when the unimaginable happened.

As part of law enforcement, and father of five children, Sgt. Kent had always kept himself active to keep up with his professional and personal life. A stroke was the last worry on his mind.

“If you would’ve asked me the top ten things that would’ve happened to me in law enforcement, I would’ve never thought a stroke. It was never on my radar,” said Sgt. Kent.

The day of his stroke, he knew something was terribly wrong. His vision got blurry. He felt dizzy. He couldn’t dial for help.

Fortunately, his fellow colleagues called an ambulance and Sgt. Kent was rushed to Kaweah Health’s Emergency Department, where the healthcare staff realized he was suffering a stroke. Despite coming in with signs of a possible paralysis, thanks to the quick action of the Stroke and Emergency Department teams, Sgt. Kent regained his full mobility within a few hours.

Today, he credits the interdisciplinary team at Kaweah Health for saving his life.

“I fully recognized that it was the healing power of Jesus, working through the people that helped save me.”

Learn more about Carolyn Hill, stroke survivor.

Carolyn had just sat down for Sunday brunch with her husband, Ron, when it turned into a meal they’ll never forget. When Carolyn tried ordering, her speech was so slurred the waitress couldn’t understand a word she was saying. Suddenly, Carolyn’s face began to droop and Ron knew something was terribly wrong. Their server immediately called 9-1-1 and within 10 minutes, Carolyn was in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. She was having a stroke.

After an emergency CT scan showed a major blockage cutting off blood flow in Carolyn’s brain, she was given the “clot-busting” drug, Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). For optimal results, tPA should be given within three hours of the time stroke symptoms start. Carolyn received it within 45 minutes, and just 10 minutes later, she regained feeling on the left side of her body. The clot-buster worked just as it should. “I’m a prime example of how it should be done. My treatment was textbook,” shared Carolyn. She would be airlifted to Bakersfield a short time later to undergo a procedure to completely remove the clot. By 9:00 p.m. that night, Carolyn was back to feeling normal.

“I can’t emphasize the importance of timing enough. The stroke didn’t have time to do its damage. I was able to walk out of the hospital,” Carolyn said. How you spend the first 60 minutes after a stroke could determine how you spend the rest of your life. Thanks to fast action by her husband, brunch server, and the Kaweah Delta Emergency Department, Carolyn’s brain was spared from major damage. “If you sense something happening, don’t call your husband, mother, or neighbor. Call 9-1-1. Look at me,” she said. “You can’t waste those minutes.” Minutes matter and Carolyn is alive and well today to prove it.