Thursday, September 9, 2015, is a date that will forever be engrained in Linda Bott’s memory. Linda was feeling great and doing the thing she loved most that day, camping with her husband, Mike.
After the couple finished playing a game of cards, Linda decided to take their little dog for a quick walk. She wasn’t too far away from the campgrounds when her left side started feeling tingly. “An angel was with me that day. A little girl ran up to me and asked if I was hurt and if I had family around,” shares Linda. “I tried talking, but only gibberish came out. I had a feeling I was having a stroke.”
The little girl recognized Linda needed help and ran to get her mom. When the two came back, Linda still wasn’t able to verbally communicate but managed to point in the direction where her camper was located. The little girl and her mom were able to find Mike, who immediately drove Linda to the hospital.
“My mom had five strokes,” explains Linda. “So, the entire time, I was fearful that I was starting a long battle with strokes, yet at the same time I was in denial it was happening to me. I kept thinking, ‘I can’t be having a stroke.’”
When Linda arrived at Trinity Regional Medical Center, she received quick, lifesaving treatment. She was given what is touted as the miracle drug TPA and was soon on her way to having a full recovery.
“I feel fortunate to have only had a mild stroke and was lucky Mike and Dr. Cole were there to make all the right calls,” adds Linda.
Linda was able to go home after being hospitalized for only two days. She followed up with Trinity Rehabilitation Services at Highland Park to do therapy where she met Kathy Hanley, Speech Therapist Lead.
“I didn’t need much therapy, but was thankful Kathy told me about the Stroke Club,” says Linda.
The purpose of the Stroke Club is to provide education and support to stroke survivors and their families. The group typically meets monthly at Trinity and has a speaker or activity.
“It’s a wonderful, close knit group,” Linda adds. “It’s nice knowing there are people in the same boat and can relate to similar challenges or experiences.”
Today, Linda lives to tell her story and to raise awareness about the symptoms of stroke and ways to prevent stroke. She reminds the community, “It can happen to anyone and it’s important to act F.A.S.T.”