Spotting a stroke in Upper Sandusky

Published: May 12, 2023

May is National Stroke Awareness Month, to learn more about reducing your risk of a stroke and how to identify symptoms, visit the American Stroke Association.

Employees at a Nutrien Ag Solutions’ branch in Upper Sandusky, Ohio found themselves in a scary situation when a contracted driver arrived at the location while experiencing symptoms of a stroke. Due to the diligence of the employees and their use of stop work authority, the driver has successfully recovered from the stroke.

Looking out for one another

It was a routine day when Jaime Wolf, Administrative Coordinator in Upper Sandusky, and Dustin Hug, Facility Manager for the Upper Sandusky location, noticed a delivery semi-truck pull into a space too small for the vehicle.

“As soon as he pulled in, we could tell something wasn’t right,” says Jaime. “When he came in and started talking, we could hear him slurring his words. I told our team outside to keep an eye on him and make sure he was okay.”

Upon further conversation, it turns out that the driver had been experiencing stroke symptoms since the night before, further increasing the staff's concern. The driver wanted to continue with business-as-usual but Ryan Rife, Custom Applicator for the Upper Sandusky branch, and the team used Stop Work Authority safety practice to not allow the driver to return to the road. Staff recognized the stroke symptoms, inherent emergency, and were able to persuade the driver to be transported to the emergency room.

Once the truck driver agreed to seek medical attention, one of the employees from the Upper Sandusky branch drove him, about a mile, to the local emergency room.

“In the car, he told our employee driving him to the hospital that he was getting really tired,” says Jaime. “A friend was waiting for him at the hospital and when he saw his friend, he said that he thought he was dying.”

Testing completed in the local emergency room revealed a complete blockage of blood flow in an artery supplying his brain. He was then emergently transferred to a hospital in Columbus, OH for surgery to restore blood flow. Fortunately, due to the quick actions of the Upper Sandusky staff, the truck driver received necessary medical attention and has made a full recovery.

When the driver arrived at the Upper Sandusky branch, he was accompanied by his dog. Until the driver’s coworker could pick up the dog, Jaime made sure the driver’s four-legged friend was safe and taken care of.

“The situation was so severe for this driver that the doctor had said that by the time he arrived at the first hospital, he had less than 12 hours before the stroke turned deadly,” says Dustin. “Luckily, we were able to get him to the hospital to receive medical attention and his surgery was successful and is now back home with his dog, happy and healthy.”

Act F.A.S.T. when someone might be having a stroke

For people experiencing a stroke, every second counts. It can be tough in a medical emergency to understand the situation. Fortunately, there’s an acronym to help remember the main signs of a stroke:

Face Drooping. Face drooping can feel as if one side of your face is numb. If you’re looking for signs of a stroke in someone else, ask them to smile to see if one side droops instead of matching the other side in a smile.

Arm Weakness. When assessing your own symptoms, one arm may feel weaker than normal, or it may feel numb. When assessing someone else, ask them to raise both arms to see if one arm sags instead of being parallel to the other arm.

Speech Difficulty. Whether watching your own symptoms or those of another, slurred speech can be a sign of a stroke.

Time to call 911. If you or someone else have any of the above symptoms, you need to seek medical attention immediately.

To learn about other signs and symptoms of a stroke, please visit the American Stroke Association.