Pat Zaugg's Stroke Story

Jun 6, 2019

Fast Treatment Means She’ll Crochet Another Day


On what seemed to be an ordinary day, Pat Zaugg was at home, eating lunch with her husband. She went to reach for a cracker, when suddenly, everything changed. She couldn’t reach. She couldn’t speak. Her face was drooping, and her whole left side was numb. Pat didn’t know what was going on, but luckily her husband recognized the signs of a stroke (Face, Arm, Speech, Time, or FAST) and immediately called 911. Because of the unique cooperation in Palm Beach County between EMS, giving notification of patients likely requiring catheter treatment, and the hospital, they transported her to Delray Medical Center, a comprehensive stroke center. At Delray Medical Center she received a clot-busting agent within 7 minutes and catheter treatment was started 30 minutes from arrival (50 minutes from first symptoms). The clot was rapidly removed with a catheter, the most effective treatment for her type of severe stroke.

“I don’t remember much about what happened in the ambulance or upon my arrival at the hospital. But I do know that I have no residual impairments because I was treated so quickly,” Pat said.

Pat was in the hospital for three days to treat her cause of the stroke, and was very impressed with the care she received. “I had never been admitted to a hospital before, so I was nervous. But the nurses were attentive and reassuring, the doctors were excellent, and the speed with which they treated me was amazing!” exclaimed Pat. Pat’s stroke occurred in February, and today she has picked up her life where she left off—with one big change.

“My stroke made me appreciate life more. And, it was the incentive I needed to quit smoking—a habit for the past 50 years! I notice now I’m coughing less and my voice isn’t so raspy. And my kids are thrilled!”

Pat is happy to be home and back to enjoying her favorite hobby — crocheting. “When I had the stroke, I was so scared that the paralysis wouldn’t go away, and I wouldn’t be able to crochet anymore. I was devastated! But luckily, I’m fine and back to crocheting hats and blankets that will keep my family members up north warm.”