Strokes can happen without warning and can lead to serious consequences, even death, if not treated quickly.
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted , preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients.
Brain cells begin to die in minutes.
That's why one North Texan called her recent medical emergency nothing short of a holiday miracle.
Operating room technician Ila Martinez, at Texas Health Center for Diagnostics and Surgery said during surgery one day last month, she began to feel different.
"I started to feel clammy. I thought maybe I was getting overheated from holding the retractors like I was, so I told the surgeon I think I need to sit down," Martinez said.
She said she then got an intense, uncomfortable tingling sensation in her arm.
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"I heard someone say, 'I think she is having a stroke,' and I knew they were talking about me, but I couldn't respond," Martinez said.
Luckily, she was surrounded by a medical team who jumped into action.
Dr. Alexander Satin, training to be a spine doctor, happened to be in the right place at the right time.
He helped make sure she got blood clot busting medication as fast as possible.
"You always have to be prepared. That's kind of why medical school and your basic training is important," Satin said.
Martinez recovered and was back at work in two weeks.
She's living proof that a stroke can happen to anyone at any time and how the actions of others, including colleagues, can mean the difference between life and death.
"I believe God put all these people in place for me, for that day, at this job. I'm overwhelmed by how well I was taken care of and how God provided everything along the way that I needed so can recover," said Martinez, who added that she was in perfect health and wasn't considered at risk for a stroke.
Here are the signs of stroke, according to the CDC:
- Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking,
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Trouble walking or dizziness.