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Stroke Patient Stories: Katherine Kerrick

In the summer of 2010, Katherine Kerrick had a potentially devastating stroke. She came in to Swedish by EMS after her husband noticed that she couldn’t speak. A Stroke Alert was called to let the Swedish Stroke Team know she was on the way and they were waiting when she arrived. Katherine abruptly worsened in the ED to not speaking, understanding or moving her right side. She received a clot-busting drug called IV-TPA through her blood vessels. This drug can only be administered within three hours from the onset of stroke symptoms— therefore, it is extremely important that the time a stroke starts is noted.

Because she came to Swedish, Katherine was offered a treatment she wouldn't have gotten at any other hospital in the Rocky Mountain region—she was enrolled into a national acute stroke trial, the IMS-3 trial—the goal to get intra-arterial (IA) therapy for acute stroke (the procedure that lead to her great outcome) to be standard of care. Interarterial (IA) therapy was then conducted so that more clot-busters could be administered directly on the clot in the brain.

Other hospitals have IA therapy but no one else is leading the way in research/evidence/outcomes for this treatment. At this point IA therapy is elective so not all stroke patients have the opportunity to have the incredible outcome that Katherine had. What's more is that her experience and participation in the research could lead to many more lives saved from the devastating effects of stroke.

Read the Thank You Letter Katherine's Husband Sent to EMT & Swedish.