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Stroke Patient Stories: David Smith

David Smith Receives Speedy Stroke Treatment at Swedish Medical Center, Denver

By: Audra Mincey

Davis and Mary Smith

Father's Day is more than just a day to celebrate being a father for 75-year old David Smith (pictured left with his wife, Mary). He has five children, 16 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren who all make the day extra special for him. But this past Father's Day, David didn't receive the chance to attend the usual reunion with his family. Instead, he ended up spending the day with them at Swedish Medical Center.

"It was the day before Father's Day. I was in the kitchen and David was in the garage. I heard something unusual and ran to go see if everything was alright. David was on the floor of the garage with blood all around him. He had hit his head on something. I rushed over to him and knew instantly he was having a stroke. I immediately dialed 9-1-1," explains David’s wife, Mary Smith.

David was breathing but couldn't speak; one of the signs of stroke. "I just knew it was a stroke, I was holding his hand and telling him to just stay with me," says Mary. David was rushed to Swedish Medical Center where the stroke team was waiting for him. He was given a clot-busting medication within 27 minutes. "The stroke team reacted so fast when David arrived to the hospital. He wouldn't be here without them!" explains Mary.

David woke up in the CCU and couldn't remember much. He was told he'd have to be in the hospital for a couple of days then transfer to Swedish Acute Rehab to regain his strength. The care here has been great! I knew Swedish was a trauma center but I had no idea they had such an amazing stroke team," says David. "I know it's a miracle that I'm here today, that I can talk, walk and be with my family."

His family calls him a "Father's Day miracle." This is the second time David has faced a medical emergency after suffering a heart attack 10 years ago. His wife says she believes it's just not his time yet and that he's meant to watch the three generations underneath him grow up and follow in his footsteps. "Our time together is so precious, he really has dodged the bullet twice but I honestly thank God and the team at Swedish for saving my husband’s life."