“As if nothing had happened”: a few days after a stroke, she was playing golf again
EVERETT – Patt Bass had just gotten out of the shower on the morning of September 15th.
She needed to get ready for a meeting. But Bass, 68, couldn’t dry up. She couldn’t move her arms. She walked from the bathroom to the bed, hoping that would help her. This is not the case.
Without a new surgical program at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, she could be paralyzed.
It was only a few hours later that the resident of Camano Island heard from doctors at the hospital and realized that she had suffered a “massive stroke”. Bass remembers some things about that day.
“My brain was like, ‘What the hell,'” she said in an interview.
She knows she tried to return to the bathroom, but fell “like a tree”, injuring her right arm and shoulder. Her husband went upstairs and asked her what was wrong. Bass said his brain was telling his mouth to say, “I don’t know,” but his mouth just couldn’t do it.
“Why can’t I speak and why can’t I move?” Low thought.
His eyes were going in different directions. Bass’s husband realized something was wrong and called 911. Paramedics rushed her to Providence. There, she overheard doctors telling her husband that she had suffered a stroke. They explained that if she didn’t have a surgery called a thrombectomy, she could be paralyzed. She described the feeling as “way above being afraid”.
She had the procedure to remove the blood clot that caused her sudden stroke.
âThe next thing I knew was I was in theâ¦ recovery room,â Bass said.
Hospital workers stood over her as she woke up.
“Can you talk!” they shouted.
âStop screaming,â Bass replied.
They started to “jump like two children”, delighted that she could speak again.
Dr Yince Loh performed the procedure on bass. He said she could have been disabled or dead.
Providence launched its 24/7 thrombectomy program in January. As of last week, doctors performed 47 procedures there, Loh said. A description of the surgery is not for the faint of heart. This involves inserting a device into a blood vessel in the patient’s groin, moving it up the body to the brain, finding the blood clot and sucking it out.
A Denver specialist told the Wall Street Journal that a successful thrombectomy could have the same effect on strokes as penicillin for infections.
As of October 1, Providence began transferring patients for stroke treatment from hospitals in the North who cannot perform the surgery.
Last year, when the hospital did not have the program, 80 patients were sent from Everett to Seattle for treatment.
Travel time can make a big difference, Loh said. Studies have shown that results worsen every 15 minutes without the operation. Symptoms to look for include speech problems; double vision; and numbness in the arms, legs, or face.
In an interview, Bass effusively expressed his thanks to the rescuers who rushed her to the hospital. And she credited her husband’s quickness of mind to calling 911.
Before her stroke, she said she walked 30 miles in a week. She didn’t like being in a hospital bed. So she toured the intensive care unit at Providence. Then she walked it again, in the other direction.
Three days after being rushed to hospital, she left.
Bass tries to golf once or twice a week. But she wouldn’t qualify as an avid golfer.
She asked her doctors if she could compete in a tournament the following Tuesday, just six days after her stroke. The doctors discussed it and decided it would be OK.
She joked that the blow gave her competition a fighting chance, but Bass won the tournament.
These days, she said, she feels pretty much the same as before the stroke six weeks ago.
“I really feel like nothing has happened.”