North Texas

North Texas Woman Beats Heat Stroke Thanks to Quick Action

Suffering from heat-related illness can happen in the blink of an eye, especially with the triple digit temperatures in North Texas.

It happened to a Las Colinas woman, who's sharing her story so others can stay safe in the sun.

73-year-old Shari Gambino says two weeks ago, she was sitting in the lounge chair by her pool for no more than two hours, when she succumbed to heat stroke.

"It happened so fast, I didn't know it," said Gambino.

She says a neighbor saw her in the lounge chair, incoherent and confused.

She says when they got her inside, she wasn't able to speak and didn't recognize anyone.

Those neurological symptoms, according to doctors, are one of the main signs that someone is in critical danger.

"If you're having heat exhaustion, it's very common. It's what we see with athletes outside, not staying hydrated in extreme heat, like what we've seen these last few days. The big difference is when we start to see neurological symptoms, so if someone is confused, acting abnormal, having difficulty walking, if they're having weakness, that's primarily the difference," said Medical City Las Colinas emergency physician Dr. Mohammed Azam.

Luckily, doctors were able to resuscitate Shari before any of her organs suffered permanent damage.

Today, she's back from near death, grateful and with no plans to lay out by the pool.

"I may be in the pool, with a float, drinking water, but never when it's that hot!" said Gambino.

Heat stroke happens after heat exhaustion, which is marked by muscle craps and profuse sweating.

Other symptoms of heat stroke include hot and dry skin, nausea, rabid breathing and racing heart rate.

If you think a person may be experiencing heatstroke, seek immediate medical help.

Take immediate action to cool the overheated person, such as getting the person into shade or indoors, removing excess clothing, and cooling the person with whatever means available.

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