Speed Reads


Woman films herself having a stroke in order to get the right diagnosis

Stacey Yepes, 49, was sure that emergency room doctors were misdiagnosing her when they said the slurred speech and face numbness she experienced was stress-related. So, when she experienced a third attack in three days — the second was while she was driving away from the hospital — she pulled her car over and started filming.

That probably saved her life, CNN reports. Yepes showed the video to doctors at Toronto Western Hospital, who used it to help determine that she had been having transient ischemic attacks, or mini-strokes, caused by plaque buildup in her arteries. "I think it was just to show somebody, because I knew it was not stress-related," she told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. "And I thought if I could show somebody what was happening, they would have a better understanding."

Yepes is now taking blood thinners and cholesterol-lowering medication, and has not had a stroke since being diagnosed. While it worked for Yepes, doctors still recommend seeking help immediately if you think you're having a stroke. "Don't waste time on a video, just call 911," says Dr. Markku Kaste with the World Stroke Organization. "It's the same for everyone. If you're having a stroke, think you're having a stroke, or see someone having one — just call 911." Signs include speech difficulty, sudden numbness, confusion, difficulty walking, and arm weakness. Watch a clip of Yepes' video below. --Catherine Garcia