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Time and teamwork

Sep 26, 2018, 15:37 PM
Stroke patient on road to recovery
Ron Waldo, stroke survivor with Bryon and Kay Mengle

Ron Waldo of Everson was helping with a remodeling project in the basement of a Mount Vernon church in April 2017 when he began to not feel well. Before he knew it, the Whatcom County man was having difficulty moving his body or uttering a sound.

“All of a sudden I was on the floor and was trying to get up. My right side, my right arm, wasn’t doing anything,” Waldo said, recounting that morning spent working construction.

Fortunately, Bryon Mengle, pastor of Cornwall Church in Mount Vernon, came down shortly to check on Waldo and, taking in the situation, he immediately called 911 to get help.

“When I first saw him, I asked him ‘Ron, are you sleeping on the job?’ ” Mengle said with a smile while telling the story, alongside Ron and his wife, Kay. “We realized he needed help and from there, things moved fast.”

Paramedics arrived and Waldo was taken by ambulance to Skagit Valley Hospital. EMS personnel radioed ahead that they believed Waldo was having a stroke. With that information in hand, the Emergency Department stroke team was gathered and ready to take care of him the instant he arrived. Time is of the essence with stroke.

“EMS staff comes to our trainings and works with us so it’s really important that you call 911,” said Jessica Bell, MSN, RN, Director of Emergency Services at Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon. “They will do all the right things for you and we will be ready for you.”

Mengle said he watched and was awed by the seamless, rapid care Waldo received.

“The ER staff was just fantastic,” he said, noting the caregiving group grew to a dozen, each communicating and serving a specific role on the team. “It was literally amazing to watch the team move into action. They are second to none.”

The team trains and meets regularly so they are prepared to help stroke patients.

“As a primary stroke center, we have the specialized staff who can identify and diagnose appropriately to get the right care for each patient,” said Neurologist Patti Brettell, MD of Skagit Regional Clinics. “We follow evidence-based medicine and we don’t deviate.”

Mengle accompanied Waldo as his wife Kay was in her office in Lynden when she received word that her husband of 57 years was at Skagit Valley Hospital, more than 40 miles away. A cousin drove her to Mount Vernon.

“I always felt like we were in good hands, but I was very afraid,” she said. “I appreciate what the staff here did to help Ron. They knew right away what was going on and they knew they needed to move quickly.”

The team at Skagit Valley Hospital enlisted the help of another team member to diagnose and treat Waldo by using telemedicine to include specialists at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle. In concert with the experts at Swedish, it was decided to administer the clot-busting drug called tPA, which is known to help some stroke patients get restored blood flow by dissolving the blood clot. Waldo received the medication just 48 minutes after the initial call to 911.

While tPA may not be the right treatment for all patients, “it worked for me,” Waldo said. After tPA and stabilization, the 75-year-old was transported to Swedish where he had surgery to retrieve a blood clot. Kay Waldo notes his condition continued to improve as movement in his right side returned and he was able to answer questions. Just four days after suffering a stroke, Waldo went home.

In the weeks and months since, Waldo continues to improve. “There are little things, like putting a nut on a bolt that I get figured out,” he said. “It’s kind of like learning to walk, then run, a little at a time.”

Those little things also include four great grandchildren to enjoy, along with five grandchildren and two children.

 

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Last post : 07/29/2020

Time and teamwork

Sep 26, 2018, 15:37 PM
Stroke patient on road to recovery
Ron Waldo, stroke survivor with Bryon and Kay Mengle

Ron Waldo of Everson was helping with a remodeling project in the basement of a Mount Vernon church in April 2017 when he began to not feel well. Before he knew it, the Whatcom County man was having difficulty moving his body or uttering a sound.

“All of a sudden I was on the floor and was trying to get up. My right side, my right arm, wasn’t doing anything,” Waldo said, recounting that morning spent working construction.

Fortunately, Bryon Mengle, pastor of Cornwall Church in Mount Vernon, came down shortly to check on Waldo and, taking in the situation, he immediately called 911 to get help.

“When I first saw him, I asked him ‘Ron, are you sleeping on the job?’ ” Mengle said with a smile while telling the story, alongside Ron and his wife, Kay. “We realized he needed help and from there, things moved fast.”

Paramedics arrived and Waldo was taken by ambulance to Skagit Valley Hospital. EMS personnel radioed ahead that they believed Waldo was having a stroke. With that information in hand, the Emergency Department stroke team was gathered and ready to take care of him the instant he arrived. Time is of the essence with stroke.

“EMS staff comes to our trainings and works with us so it’s really important that you call 911,” said Jessica Bell, MSN, RN, Director of Emergency Services at Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon. “They will do all the right things for you and we will be ready for you.”

Mengle said he watched and was awed by the seamless, rapid care Waldo received.

“The ER staff was just fantastic,” he said, noting the caregiving group grew to a dozen, each communicating and serving a specific role on the team. “It was literally amazing to watch the team move into action. They are second to none.”

The team trains and meets regularly so they are prepared to help stroke patients.

“As a primary stroke center, we have the specialized staff who can identify and diagnose appropriately to get the right care for each patient,” said Neurologist Patti Brettell, MD of Skagit Regional Clinics. “We follow evidence-based medicine and we don’t deviate.”

Mengle accompanied Waldo as his wife Kay was in her office in Lynden when she received word that her husband of 57 years was at Skagit Valley Hospital, more than 40 miles away. A cousin drove her to Mount Vernon.

“I always felt like we were in good hands, but I was very afraid,” she said. “I appreciate what the staff here did to help Ron. They knew right away what was going on and they knew they needed to move quickly.”

The team at Skagit Valley Hospital enlisted the help of another team member to diagnose and treat Waldo by using telemedicine to include specialists at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle. In concert with the experts at Swedish, it was decided to administer the clot-busting drug called tPA, which is known to help some stroke patients get restored blood flow by dissolving the blood clot. Waldo received the medication just 48 minutes after the initial call to 911.

While tPA may not be the right treatment for all patients, “it worked for me,” Waldo said. After tPA and stabilization, the 75-year-old was transported to Swedish where he had surgery to retrieve a blood clot. Kay Waldo notes his condition continued to improve as movement in his right side returned and he was able to answer questions. Just four days after suffering a stroke, Waldo went home.

In the weeks and months since, Waldo continues to improve. “There are little things, like putting a nut on a bolt that I get figured out,” he said. “It’s kind of like learning to walk, then run, a little at a time.”

Those little things also include four great grandchildren to enjoy, along with five grandchildren and two children.