Kati's Hour of Need

Kati’s Hour of Need


Most people don’t realize that a stroke can happen to anyone at almost any age.

When Kati, 36, started experiencing dizziness and right-side weakness in her 5 a.m. CrossFit class she realized something was seriously wrong, but she never thought it could be something so severe.

“I thought maybe I had a pinched nerve,” Kati explained, “I’m young and healthy, it can’t be a stroke.”

Dr. Juliette Coleman, a neurologist at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, happened to be in the same Crossfit class and recognized Kati’s symptoms as a stroke. Dr. Coleman knew that the care Kati needed was at Sarasota Memorial Health Care System

Kati arrived by ambulance at SMH, she was met by the stroke team – and remembers it all. She was completely coherent the entire time but was unable to fully communicate. That didn’t stop the SMH team from talking her through every step.

“Even though they had no way of knowing I had any idea of what was going on they were still talking to me, letting me know my progress.” Kati said, “Unfortunately, they put me out for the really cool stuff Dr. Case does.”

Neurointerventional Radiologist, Dr. Daniel Case, performed a thrombectomy to remove the clot blocking blood flow to Kati’s brain. When she woke up from surgery, the first thing she did was wiggle her toes.

“If I can wiggle all my toes on both feet that means I have full connection to everywhere, because that’s the end of the line, everything’s going to be fine,” she said.

Kati was in the hospital for a total of four days, two in the intensive care unit and two on the neurology floor, before she was back home with her family. Her recovery process has been a long one, requiring new medication and plenty of rest but it’s been gratifying in many ways. “…it’s a fresh slate,” Kati said about her life since leaving SMH, “it’s given me a better focus on things I want to do, that are more fulfilling.”

No one can pinpoint the exact reason for the stroke. “It’s just one of those freak accidents, and I was fortunate enough that I had somewhere to go,” she said.

The stroke Kati had carries an 80% mortality rate, if she hadn’t received the care through the Comprehensive Stroke Center at SMH, her fate would have been much worse.

“There isn’t a hospital from St. Petersburg to Fort Myers that offers the comprehensive stroke care I needed. Supporting the stroke program helps save 1 in every 2 stroke patients and provides education to more individuals about the stroke center,” Kati stated when asked about why it’s important to have these services close to her home.

The care Kati received wouldn’t be possible without the impact and contribution of the Sarasota community. The funds Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation receives during the 2018 Giving Challenge will help ensure that patients such as Kati receive the best possible care, when it matters most. Help us make a difference and continue to provide world class healthcare throughout Sarasota.

Be the one to strengthen healthcare in our community.

The 2018 Giving Challenge will take place on May 1-2 from noon-noon. Donations of $25-100 will be matched by The Patterson Foundation. Visit givingpartnerchallege.org during the 24 hour event to make your gift.

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