LOCAL MARTIAL ARTIST, PERSONAL TRAINER BACK TO NORMAL AFTER STROKE
Greg and Jeri Mansur were away for a little bit of a staycation when a stroke struck.
Greg was out buying some medicine for Jeri’s headache. They exchanged a few texts. But, when he returned to the hotel, he found Jeri, her face against the ground.
“He came back, and he saw me on the floor,” Jeri, now 63, said.
She couldn’t stand. She couldn’t give her husband any answers. She wasn’t sure how she ended up on the floor and couldn’t figure out why she wasn’t able to get up. Greg knew something was wrong.
In the 11 minutes between the last text Greg exchanged with his wife and the time he called 911, Greg realized Jeri had suffered a stroke. He was able to tell the operator on the phone, and Jeri was taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) in Gainesville, the area’s designated primary stroke center, for rapid treatment. The staff at NGMC were prepared for Jeri’s arrival and able to administer alteplase, a blood clot-busting drug.
When a stroke occurs, time is everything.
“Her arm, her whole left side, was gone,” Greg said. “She had no movement, no feeling, no strength, no anything. She was looking the wrong way when I called her, and I said, ‘Baby, something’s wrong.’ So, I called 911 right away.”
Jeri is an otherwise healthy person. She’s likely healthier than most her age – or even younger. She’s a martial artist with a third-degree black belt and a personal trainer. Greg said she’s worked out at least five days a week, every week, since her 20s. She doesn’t have a history of strokes in her family.
“I would have never thought in a million years that I’d have a stroke,” Jeri said. “I’ve been healthy all my life.”
But a stroke can affect anybody.
“That’s the scary thing about strokes,” said Holley Adams, stroke coordinator at NGMC Gainesville. “They can happen to anyone at any time. And, when a stroke does occur, it’s important to get help fast — like Greg was able to do for Jeri.”
When Jeri suffered her stroke in July 2019, she was rushed to NGMC. The quick assessment she received there helped save Jeri from any long-term deficits she may have faced.
“It’s important to always seek care immediately if you’re experiencing symptoms of a stroke, even during this COVID-19 pandemic,” Adams said. “The main thing we want everyone to do is call 911, no matter what. When you arrive at NGMC, we’re prepared to evaluate you quickly and administer alteplase if you’re eligible. And, if we need to send you somewhere else for further treatment, we’re prepared to do that, too.”
Before Greg was able to get to NGMC to be with his wife, nurses at the areas designated primary stroke center had a plan in place.
“By the time I got there, they had already figured out that Jeri had a clot in her brain, and she needed to get down to (Grady Memorial Hospital),” Greg said. “Their speediness in addressing the issue was certainly very good.”
Jeri was flown to Grady in Atlanta for surgery, and she is now almost fully recovered.
“I don’t have any paralysis,” Jeri said. “But what I’ve learned since the stroke is that time is of the essence.”
May is National Stroke Awareness Month, and this is Jeri’s first year observing as a stroke survivor. She didn’t know much about strokes around this time last year, but now she does.
“You could say he’s my hero,” Jeri said of her husband. “Because of the way he acted so quickly in getting me help, whenever I’m in a situation where somebody might be having a stroke, I’ll do my very best to do what he did for me — get help as quick as possible. I’m very thankful.”
For more information about stroke care and to learn how one of NGMC’s designated stroke centers in Barrow, Braselton or Gainesville can help, visit nghs.com/stroke-care.