​Loving grandmother saved by fast-acting stroke team

Maria Casas, ​stroke ​survivor, Palmetto General Hospital

PGH_Maria_Our StoriesAt 52 years old, Maria Casas has dedicated herself to raising her 7-year-old grandson, Robert, and helping out her daughter, Lilian. Like any good parent, she makes sure he does his schoolwork, keeps busy with extracurricular activities and constantly dotes on him as if he were her own son. It was Robert, along with her husband of nearly 35 years, Manuel, and the rest of her family, who gave Maria the strength she needed when she experienced an unexpected health crisis.

“Early one morning, Manuel woke me up after he noticed my breathing was suddenly very erratic,” shares Maria. “He grew even more worried when I got up to go to the bathroom, and I could barely walk.”

Once she made it to the bathroom, she lost consciousness twice. Panicked, Manuel yelled to her brother, who spent the night with the couple, to call 911. The paramedics recognized Maria’s drooping face and other symptoms as being signs of a stroke, and transported her to Palmetto General Hospital’s Comprehensive Stroke Center.

Upon her arrival, Maria underwent a CT scan, which showed a blood clot had cut off the blood flow to the right side of her brain. Dr. Ritesh Kaushal, medical director of the stroke center, used a catheter to access and remove the clot through a vein in her groin.

After the procedure, Maria was alert and didn’t have any lingering side effects. Her progress was so outstanding that the medical staff charged with checking her speech and mobility couldn’t believe she had suffered a stroke. As a result of the high level of care she received, Maria had no need for therapy or medication following her discharge from the hospital.

“During the five days I spent at Palmetto, Dr. Kaushal and the staff treated me wonderfully,” expresses Maria. “I am so thankful that they had the technology and training needed to help me overcome such a terrifying experience.”

Maria says her determination to fight through her stroke was in large part due to her precious grandson, who she knew needed her most. Thanks to Palmetto General Hospital’s Comprehensive Stroke Center, Maria and Manuel can continue to grow old together and cherish each day spent with Robert and the rest of their beloved family.