Learning to slow down is the hardest part for Catrina Pullum right now.
The professional life coach has to work through months of recovery after she suffered a stroke in February. Now she is learning to walk and to talk again after the left side of her body was affected by the stroke.
"That morning he actually saved my life," Catrina said about her husband Shawn.
Shawn Pullum is an engineer with AT&T in Plano. Just five days prior to his wife suffering the stroke, he was at a health fair at his job learning about symptoms.
"Every other second somebody has a stroke. Every six seconds someone is dying from a stroke," said Dr. Vallabh Janardhan, the director of the Texas Stroke Institute at Medical City Plano.
Shawn had learned a life-saving word that is emphasized at most stroke health fairs and seminars.
"F-A-S-T is an acronym to remember," said Dr. Janardhan.
FAST means to check the "Face for droopage, arms for weakness, speech for any slurring, and if problems arise, time to get help."
"I told her to put her arms out," said Shawn, and as he motioned that, his wife's left arm started to drop slowly.
That was the sign to him that she needed to be rushed to the hospital.
The doctor tells us it's vital people recognize stroke symptoms and take loved one's to a stroke center where clots can be removed.
"It's a time sensitive disease. Every minutes 1.9 million brain cells die," the doctor said.
"I think about how close I came to losing her. I'm just glad the story has the ending that it did," Shawn said.
The hard part for Catrina isn't learning to walk again. It's slowing down life, which is tough for the professional life coach who now looks to other stroke victims.
"It was those people who encourage me and inspired me everyday; the coach is getting the coaching," Catrina said.
Shawn is thankful to his company at AT&T for providing the health fair, thankful to Medical City Plano that gave him the vital information he needed, and to Baylor Hospital where his wife was treated and is currently undergoing rehab.
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