Know When to Go!

Thanks to the outpouring of support from loyal community partners like you, Baptist Health is gratefully  launching Project Reignite, and gradually transitioning to our normal care environment with many COVID-inspired safety protocols in place. 

Your generosity is saving patients’ lives every day at Baptist Health.

May is National Stroke Awareness Month

Recent data shows COVID-19 may increase a person’s risk for suffering from a stroke. Additional reports indicate that patients may delay seeking treatment for a stroke because of uncertainty due to COVID-19. And when it comes to stroke, every second counts.

In recognition of Stroke Awareness Month, former patient, Marvin Watkins, shares his story and his appreciation.

Marvin and Marlene Watkins. The inseparable wife didn’t miss a cardiac rehab appointment and that saved her husband’s life.

Imagine rushing around the house, getting ready for your post open heart surgery cardiac rehabilitation appointment, and your spouse who is your driver is nowhere to be seen.

Knowing you need to leave now, or will end up arriving late, you holler out impatiently.
 “Marvin! Marvin! It’s time to go!”

You hear no response. You know your spouse is okay because he was just talking on the phone to your daughter. But when you run upstairs, you find your spouse barely able to talk.

His speech is slurred and he is unable to move his right arm. 
 “My muscles feel weird,” he mumbles.

Frantically, you call your daughter who screams to call 911. Soon, the ambulance is on the way.  Marlene Watkins experienced this scenario exactly.

When the first responders arrived, Marvin could still barely speak.
 “I was totally disoriented,” he recalls.

 The first responders had Marvin in the ambulance in no time. The family insisted the rescue team to take him to Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville. Because Marlene had suffered a stroke previously, they were confident in the expertise at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville’s Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center.

Upon arriving at the emergency room, Marvin was immediately given a CT scan which revealed blood flow to the left side of his brain was blocked. Only minutes later, he was in the operating room with Dr. Eric Sauvageau, neurosurgeon and co-medical director of Baptist Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center.

Dr. Sauvageau had been alerted that Marvin was on the way to the hospital by the EMT responders. He was waiting when the ambulance arrived.

“We use a special device known as a stent retriever to remove the clot in the brain. By puncturing the artery in his groin, we can navigate a catheter all the way in his brain vessel and reopen it,” explains Dr. Sauvageau.

“Fortunately, this minimally invasive procedure is quick and can save brain tissue and reverse or decrease the impact of stroke.”

Marlene ironically credits her heart attack, subsequent surgery and cardiac rehabilitation appointment for the quick discovery of her husband’s stroke.

“It was unbelievable. When I saw him again, he had no complications. His speech had returned to normal and everything was moving. Everything was better in an instant.”

Marlene and Marvin experienced life-saving care at Baptist Health.

For more than 20 years, health care consumers have named our hospital the “most preferred healthcare provider” in the region. 

The central hub for Baptist Health’s network of adult hospitals, Baptist Neurological Institute at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville combines the latest technology with the health system’s 60-year tradition of compassionate, community-focused care. 

With a generous gift, you can help us make a difference in the lives of patients and families, like Marvin and Marlene, by supporting the highest level of medical and surgical care using the latest technologies.
Partnering with us is an investment in others who need this kind of care. A gift to Baptist Health is a gift to your community.