PURCELL, Okla. - Richard Young had just gotten out of his truck at the Purcell Walmart.
“I made it back to the front of my truck, and just the lights went out all of a sudden. I just fell," Young said.
He gripped the front of his vehicle and literally collapsed.
“Just my left side gave out, and I just, I just fell, just that fast,” Young said.
The 56-year-old army veteran sat there dazed, not knowing what to do, propped up against his truck’s tire.
He said he sat there for several minutes, watching people walk by and not do a thing.
“Just kind of glanced at me, and just went on about their business,” Young said. “I don’t know. I coulda sat there and died before anybody cared is kind of what I was thinking.”
Young said he should have called 911 but wasn’t thinking clearly and managed to climb back up into his truck and drive himself to his house not far away.
A friend took him to the hospital where they told him he’d had a stroke.
“They said I had a blood clot in one of the small vessels in my brain,” Young said.
Young’s cardiologist, Dr. Archana Gautam with Norman Regional Health System, said time is of the essence when someone has suffered a stroke.
“Time is brain. So, earlier or quicker you reach to hospital, more you are saving the brain cells,” Gautam said.
Luckily, Young arrived in time to take the clot busting medication.
“He did very well, and really complete resolution of the symptoms. It’s very lucky to have that,” Gautam said.
Young wants everyone to know that you can make a difference.
“Call 911. Let them handle it. If you don’t want to take 5 minutes out of your life to help another person, then don’t. Call somebody that can at least. Make an effort. You could save somebody’s life and not even know it,” Young said.
The National Stroke Association has an acronym to remember the warning signs of a stroke.
- F – Face. Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
- A – Arms. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- S – Speech. Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
- T – Time. If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.