(5-11-2015) Kearney Fire and EMS to receive Spot A Stroke Award from Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City for recognizing local woman’s stroke symptoms

Award recognizes quick thinking in response to Kearney woman’s stroke, leading to positive outcome

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (May 13, 2015) � July 2, 2014 began as usual for Linda Smith of Kearney, before taking a dramatic turn for the worse during breakfast. Her husband first noticed 54 year-old Linda’s slurred speech, then the left side facial droop, and weakness on her left side. Thinking quickly, he called 9-1-1 and Kearney Fire and EMS responded within minutes. Paramedic Rod Barnhart and EMT Luke Pierce immediately identified Linda’s symptoms as stroke. Understanding that seconds mean brain cells lost during a stroke, they stabilized her and quickly transported Linda directly to Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, a nationally recognized Comprehensive Stroke Center capable of treating the most complex strokes.

En route to Saint Luke’s, the Kearney Fire and EMS team contacted the Saint Luke’s stroke team, and upon arrival Linda was immediately evaluated and categorized as a moderate to severe stroke. Thanks to Barnhart’s and Pierce’s quick thinking, she arrived quickly enough to receive tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, also known as the �clot busting drug.� tPA only may be administered within a specific window of time after onset of a stroke. Neuro interventionalists at Saint Luke’s Marion Bloch Neuroscience Institute removed her clot, and within a few days, Linda showed dramatic improvement and was discharged to short-term rehabilitation for extremity strengthening.