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Four-Year-Old Recognized with Brain-Saver Award from American Heart Association

Research Medical Center September 02, 2015

Zebedee Collins, Karen Collins, Meeco “Khi” Collins, Jacki Addington, Stroke Coordinator, Research Medical Center

Four-year-old Meeco “Khi” Collins of Kansas City, Mo., was recognized with a Brain-Saver Award from the American Heart Association at the organization’s 17th Annual Stroke Symposium on Friday, Aug. 28. Each year the award is given to one individual, outside a clinical setting, who recognizes the warning signs of a stroke and takes action to promote a rapid response to prevent brain damage.  Khi’s grandmother, Karen Collins, was taken to Research Medical Center’s Level 1 Stroke Center in March and treated for stroke after the youngster notified Karen’s husband that something was terribly wrong. Research Medical Center is part of HCA Midwest Health—Kansas City’s leading healthcare.

On March 28, 54 year-old Collins and Khi were getting ready for bed when Khi noticed her grandmother had spilled a bottle of water down the front of her nightgown. Aware that her grandparents had a strict rule about food and drinks in bed, the instinctive four-year-old ran to her grandfather, Zebedee, to ‘snitch’ on her grandmother. He immediately recognized that his wife had the signs and symptoms of a stroke and quickly loaded his wife and Khi in the car and made the short drive to Research Medical. Emergency Room physicians and nurses went into immediate action, and after determining Collins was having a stroke and conferring with Zebedee, stroke care physician specialists administered the clot-busting drug, t-PA.  Had Collins’ granddaughter not helped her, treatment could have been delayed and potentially caused greater damage to her brain.

“If administered within 3 hours, and up to 4.5 hours in certain eligible patients), t-PA may improve the chances of recovering from a stroke,” says Iftekhar Ahmed, M.D, Research Medical Center Stroke Center Medical Director.  “Karen experienced the region’s fastest door-to-needle times—20 minutes. An excellent example of recognition of the signs of stroke and fast action on the part of Khi and her husband.”

“Research Medical Center is committed to aggressive, multidisciplinary stroke intervention to offer the best possible outcomes for patients such as Karen Collins,” says Jackie DeSouza-Van Blaricum, Chief Executive Officer, Research Medical Center. “And the role that people play in helping others cannot go unmentioned. It is truly a testament to the awareness we help raise so that tiny Khi knew her grandmother needed help, and that Karen’s husband recognized the signs and symptoms of a stroke.”   

Stroke, the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of long- term disability, claims the lives of more than 134,000 people every year. 
 If you think you or someone you know is having a stroke, call 9-1-1.

For more information, visit researchmedicalcenter.com.

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