Time is of the essence when it comes to getting help for stroke, and its symptoms are not always immediately noticeable. One woman’s life was saved by strange-looking selfies that alerted her to stroke symptoms.
Selfies Reveal Stroke Symptoms
Selfies do not have the best reputation in society, but there’s no denying that they have become a large part of many people’s lives. In fact, recent evidence shows that over half of people who consult with plastic surgeons do so because they want to look better in selfies. In one woman’s case, however, her selfies ended up actually saving her life.
Juanita Branch of Michigan recently took several selfies to update her Facebook profile when she noticed something rather odd about her photos. Evidently, while she could not feel any physical pain when she took the photos, her selfies revealed that one side of her face was drooping and her mouth was twisting.
She knew these were signs of stroke, as she had already had a small stroke back in 2016, so she immediately called for help. By the time that the ambulances arrived, her speech was already slurred, and she had already lost her balance.
Life Saved By Selfies
At the hospital, her selfies came in handy once again as the doctors used the timestamps on her selfies to determine that she was eligible for a clot-busting drug that had a four-hour window. The doctors who tended to Branch noted that this was the first time that they encountered someone who caught their own symptoms with a selfie, as the symptoms are often noticed by someone else.
According to Branch, she only took selfies “once in a blue moon,” and the last time she did was probably about a year ago. It was fortunate that she did at that moment, and she reminds people to call for help immediately after spotting symptoms.
“A lot of people think it hurts when you have a stroke but it doesn’t. When you see symptoms, you need to call someone right away,” said Branch, also saying that she will stop making fun of people who take selfies after selfies helped save her life.
It’s not a complete stretch to say that selfies saved Branch’s life because time is of the essence when it comes to getting help for a stroke victim. In fact, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) notes the importance of getting help within the hour so as to prevent stroke-related disability and death.
Important symptoms to take note of are face drooping, arm weakness, and speech difficulty. When any of these symptoms are present, it is important to immediately call for help, regardless if one is unsure if it really is a stroke. Other important symptoms to watch out for are sudden dizziness or loss of balance, sudden confusion, sudden numbness, sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes, and sudden onset of headache without apparent cause.
In women, other additional symptoms may include shortness of breath, nausea, hallucination, hiccups, seizures, sudden behavioral change, irritation, and hallucination.