CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- How about this for a statistic? Every 20 minutes in North Carolina someone is hospitalized with a stroke and every two hours someone dies from a stroke in North Carolina.

Now, the doctors at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center are working to change that with Charlotte's first comprehensive stroke center, which allows a much quicker response time.

"If you are requiring higher level of care you don't want to have to travel to get to a specialist especially when you live in a robust city like Charlotte," Dr. Carlene Kingston said.

North Carolina native and volunteer firefighter Mason Caudle suffered from a stroke in June 2016 when he was just 25 years old.

"It can happen to anybody young, old, it doesn't matter," Caudle said.

He traveled to Charleston, South Carolina for his care, where his family was forced to find a place to stay.

"It's very hard on families," Tim's mother, Tina, said. "Knowing there's now a new facility in their own backyard has them all at ease."

"You don't want a run of the mill doc trying to figure out why you had a stroke when you have an uncommon cause, you want a specialist who is trained, so this never happens again," Dr. Kingston said.

Especially considering North Carolina is part of what's called the nation's "Stroke Belt."

The "Stroke Belt" is an 8-12 state region in the southern part of the country where death rates are significantly higher than the rest of the U.S.