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Agnes Dias

  • Author: Agnes Dias
  • Date Submitted: May 9, 2017
  • Category: Stroke

Strokes can happen anytime, anywhere In fact every 40 seconds in the U.S.

That’s why it’s important to know the symptoms – facial drooping, arm weakness, and trouble speaking. When these symptoms appear, it’s critical that a person get treatment immediately to minimize long-term effects and prevent death. That’s the focus of our stroke program here at Kaweah Health Medical Center. Every day we work to educate the community on how to prevent strokes and save the lives of those suffering a stroke.

Agnes Dias, 81, was one of those patients.

Her daughter Annette brought her into the emergency department on Oct. 7, one day before she and her husband Joe were to celebrate their 64th wedding anniversary among family. While the couple was forced to celebrate their anniversary in the hospital’s intensive care unit, today Agnes’ family credits Kaweah Health for helping write the next chapter in the couple’s love story.

“We thought we were losing her – we thought that was it, but the care she received at Kaweah Health and everybody’s hard work got her through,” Annette said. “They realized they almost lost each other and now they dote over each other like crazy.”

That day when Agnes arrived in the emergency department, the team at Kaweah Health did what it does for every potential stroke patient. They verified that Agnes was having a hemorrhagic stroke (brain bleed). A neurosurgeon was immediately consulted and it was determined that surgery was not needed.

After some time in the hospital, Agnes was transferred to Kaweah Health’s Rehabilitation Hospital, the only stroke program in Tulare and Kings Counties accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. The program helps people who have had a stroke with walking, speech, and skills to improve memory and problem solve. She returned home to her husband Joe in late October with the help of Kaweah Health’s Home Health Services, which offers in-home healthcare services for patients like Agnes, who are recovering from hospitalization.

"I felt very safe here at my hospital," Agnes said. "I received great care throughout the staff, from my hospital stay, to rehabilitation to in-home services."

Kaweah Health’s Stroke Program has been recognized by American Heart Association for ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally-recognized research-based guidelines. Kaweah Health is focused on obtaining Primary Stroke Center Certification by The Joint Commission within the year. The certification recognizes centers that follow the best practices for stroke care. By pursuing certification, Kaweah Health is reducing the variation in clinical processes, improving the quality of patient care, and increasing community education on stroke prevention. What this amounts to is providing the best stroke care for the people of this community.

Already, people like Joe Dias are thankful for the work our stroke team is doing.

“We were watching TV the other day and they were saying good things about St. Jude’s,” Annette said. “My dad turned to me and said, ‘You know St. Jude’s is good, but we like Kaweah Health because we know what they’ve done for us.’”

Kaweah Health appreciates loved ones of patients, such as Annette and Joe, who are taking noticing of efforts to provide the best stroke care for all patients in our community.