Saturday, March 25, 2023
Home Health Nebraska woman suffers stroke over Zoom, now advocating for awareness

Nebraska woman suffers stroke over Zoom, now advocating for awareness


LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – May is National Stroke Awareness Month and according to the CDC, every 40 seconds in America someone has a stroke. That’s why it’s important to know the signs that can save your life.

It’s been one year since Ann Walters Tillery suffered a stroke and her road to recovery hasn’t been the easiest, but even a year later she continues to share her story in an effort to help others.

Tillery said May 18, 2021 started like any other by logging on to a Zoom call.

“It was very surreal being in a zoom meeting with people I knew and I was speaking, yet no one noticed I was having a medical emergency,” Tillery said.

This Zoom meeting, which had become part of her routine, would turn into a nightmare in just a matter of minutes.

“Alone in a room in a remote location, I watched myself have a stroke,” Tillery said. “When I stood up my left side was already paralyzed and I fell to the floor.”

Being alone and by herself, she had to use to her phone to get help.

“I can’t stress enough to carry your phone,” Tillery said. “Without reaching my phone I wouldn’t have been able to contact first responders.”

Tillery would spend the next several several days re-learning how to do even the most basic functions, like grabbing objects, walking or using the left side of her body entirely. This life changing experience has now turned her into an advocate.

“It was within five minutes of noticing the first symptom that the stroke had already completely paralyzed my entire left side and time equals brain tissue,” Tillery said. “It’s critical for people to take a moment to learn how to spot a stroke because the life you save might be your own.”

Her stroke has also given her a new outlook on life.

“Everyday is such a blessing you know tomorrow’s not promised,” Tillery said. “If something is really important to you put a date on it, start making plans and make it happen.”

Tillery’s message is to ask yourself what would you do if someone had a medical emergency, even over a Zoom call? Knowing what to do starts with awareness and the American Heart Association recommends starting with the acronym FAST. Facial drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, time to call 911.

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