“They started the process that ultimately saved my life!”
- Lori Hoopingarner
Knowing the signs of a possible stroke may have helped save Lori Hoopingarner’s life. Lori was having breakfast with her husband last summer when her vision became blurry. When she leaned on the table, her husband acted FAST! He asked her to raise her arms. When she could only raise one, he immediately called 9-1-1. Lori was taken to Temecula Valley Hospital, a certified advanced Primary Stroke Center.
Emergency Medicine Physician, Robert Steele, MD, and Neurologist Monika Gupta, MD, were waiting for Lori. “In less than 10 minutes, she had a CT scan, blood work and a telestroke evaluation with two neurologists from UC San Diego Health,” says Dr. Steele. “They determined that Lori should be given tPA, a clot-busting drug, and transported her to UC San Diego Health to have the clot removed.”
After the procedure, she slowly started to regain function. Lori credits the doctors at Temecula Valley Hospital for saving her life. “Dr. Steele and Dr. Gupta treated me immediately, and their quick actions and consult with the neurologists at UC San Diego Health resulted in a miracle outcome for me,” says Lori. “It was an amazing team effort and collaboration!” She says that while being treated for the stroke, doctors also discovered two heart defects she was not aware of, and they continue to monitor her.
One month after her ER visit, Lori went back to visit the doctors and nurses at TVH. “Everyone, including CEO Darlene Wetton, was so happy to see me, and I was happy to see them. It was very emotional. They provided phenomenal care, and I am here because of them,” she says. Lori is now a community advocate and occasionally speaks at the hospital, raising awareness of stroke symptoms and calling 9-1-1. “Lori is an example of what can be done when there is a system in place, and we have that system right here,” says Dr. Steele.
Temecula Valley Hospital has been certified by The Joint Commission as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center, the first in the region to obtain this designation.
In addition, the hospital is recognized as a Stroke Receiving Center for both Riverside and San Diego counties.