Manuel's Stroke StoryJun 6, 2019
A quick reaction — from his daughter and his doctors — ensured stroke won't stop Manuel Lopez from telling his story
Manuel Lopez, stroke patient
"The nurses in the Critical Care Unit treated me like a king, and thanks to the life-saving treatment I received at Hialeah Hospital, I can continue to live a long, healthy life."
Manuel Lopez, a 91-year-old Cuban immigrant who came to South Florida in 1962 has a lifetime of stories he wants to share with his three children, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. But he almost lost them all when a stroke hit one Mother's Day.
"My blood pressure was lower than usual, and when I called my daughter to wish her a happy Mother's Day, I told her I was feeling weak," Manuel says. "She told me to drink some soda and rest. I did what she asked and laid down on the recliner to watch TV."
What Manuel didn’t know was that his daughter called again, repeatedly, trying to check up on him. When he didn’t answer, she asked the neighbor to come and make sure everything was OK. The neighbor found the exact opposite.
"After realizing I was not asleep in my recliner but in fact unresponsive, my neighbor called 9-1-1 and an ambulance transported me to Hialeah Hospital's Primary Stroke Center," Manuel says.
"The transporters realized I was having a stroke because I was having trouble speaking and my leg was numb," he remembers.
As a part of Tenet Florida’s Advanced Neuroscience Network, Hialeah Hospital is uniquely equipped to handle stroke, so Manuel got the care he needed the moment he was wheeled through the doors. He had a CT scan of his brain to confirm the stroke, and he received a medication called t-PA (tissue plasminogen activator), which busts blood clots . The medication must be administered within three hours of the first stroke symptom to be effective.
"Time really is of the essence when experiencing a stroke," Manuel says. "I'm thankful my daughter thought to call my neighbor when she did, and that everyone involved acted so quickly."
Manuel didn't think he was at risk for a stroke because he was active, walking around town every day, and he took his high blood pressure medication regularly. But strokes can be hard to predict, and they can happen in people who seem healthy otherwise.
"My children and I are completely satisfied with the care I received at Hialeah Hospital," Manuel says. "The nurses in the Critical Care Unit treated me like a king, and thanks to the life-saving treatment I received there, I can continue to live a long, healthy life surrounded by family and friends. After this experience I have yet another story to share!"