Time Is of the Essence

Jim Romig was a relatively healthy man, but when he awoke one morning, just weeks before his 49th birthday, something wasn’t right.

“I felt a bit dizzy and sort of strange,” says Jim. “I just moved forward with my day and tried not to think about it. That was a mistake.”

Like every other morning, Jim, who was a purchaser at a long-term care pharmacy, went to work, but his workday was anything but typical.

“That was a weird day,” says Jim. “I kept walking into walls and dropping things. That’s not like me, but I just thought I was being a klutz.”

After work, Jim was resting in his living room when his wife, Cindy, came home. She knew something was terribly wrong.

“The left side of Jim’s face seemed to be drooping,” says Cindy. “We got him to the hospital right away.”

What Jim thought was klutziness was actually a symptom of hemorrhagic stroke. A weakened blood vessel in Jim’s brain had ruptured and was bleeding into the surrounding brain. Throughout the day, the blood was accumulating, putting unusual pressure on the brain and causing damage.

By the time he was stabilized, Jim had lost much movement in the left side of his body. He also had cognitive and speech issues and significant spasticity in his left arm and hand.

Jim began his recovery at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital-Allentown, where physical, speech and occupational therapists got him walking again, improved his speech and helped him to relearn the everyday activities that most of us take for granted. After discharge from the inpatient hospital, Jim continued his recovery with outpatient neurorehabilitation in the Good Shepherd Health & Technology Center.

Had Jim gone to the hospital instead of going to work on that morning, the affects of his stroke could have been mitigated significantly. According to the American Heart Association, people suffering strokes have the best chance to recover and avoid long-term issues if they get to a hospital within one hour of the onset of symptoms.

“They always say that time lost is brain lost,” says Jim. “That is right on the money. 

“I consider myself lucky. I am making progress in my recovery, and I look to be back at work and back to my life in the near future. Had I waited any longer, this may be a totally different story.”

For more information on Good Shepherd's programs and services, call 1-888-44-REHAB (73422) or contact us.