Dr. Jennifer Rasmussen-Winkler, Melissa Berg & Tony Palamidessi: August 23, 2018

When it Comes to Surviving a Stroke, It’s OK to Overreact.

Learn to Identify the 10 Signs of a Stroke


Mother & Son Share Personal Story of Out-of-Character Behavior that Lead to Shocking Realization


Melissa Berg, stroke survivor, suffered an acute ischemic stroke

Tony Palamidessi, Melissa’s Son

Jennifer Rasmussen-Winkler, MD, Vascular Neurologist


Are your viewers/listeners prepared to take immediate action in the event of a stroke? A stroke can happen to anyone at any time and waiting to see if the symptoms go away is not an option.1


It was just an ordinary day for Melissa and her son, Tony. They were driving through town looking at new homes when Tony suddenly realized his mother was acting out-of-character. When he noticed her slurred speech and inability to move her right side, Tony knew something was seriously wrong.  His swift action in getting medical attention helped save his mom’s life. Now the pair want to share their experience and educate others that when it comes to stroke, it’s ok to overreact. Hesitation and fear cost time. Stroke is serious; and suspicion is enough to take action. The sooner you notice the signs of stroke and call 911, the better the chance for treatment and recovery.2


Immediate medical attention can be the deciding factor between recovery and disability, or even death, following a stroke. According to research, more people in the U.S experience a stroke than a heart attack.3,4 Sixty-year old Melissa, described as a healthy, avid golfer with a busy career, did not appear to be your typical stroke candidate. So, when she began to experience odd behavior, stroke was far from her son’s mind. Thankfully, his quick thinking led him to get her immediate medical attention, which contributed to Melissa’s survival and strong recovery.

While F.A.S.T. (face, arms, speech, time) is often recognized as a quick screening tool for stroke, it’s important your listeners / viewers know all 10 warning signs.5 A sudden onset of the following may indicate stroke and early detection of the symptoms is critical.

Warning signs include:

1) Confusion

2) Difficulty Understanding

3) Dizziness

4) Loss of Balance

5) Numbness

6) Severe Headache

7) Trouble Speaking

8) Trouble Walking

9) Vision Changes

10) Weakness5


Did you know?

  • Close to 800,000 Americans have a stroke every year.1
  • Each year, stroke kills twice as many women as breast cancer.6
  • Always act with urgency. Call 911 if you suspect someone is having a stroke.
  • Stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability and the fifth leading cause of death in the US.3
  • Every second counts. Immediate action can help prevent brain damage and long-term disability.7

For more information, go to www.signsofstroke.org.


About Jennifer Rasmussen-Winkler, MD

Dr. Rasmussen-Winkler is a board-certified vascular neurologist and medical director for cerebrovascular disease and stroke at Texas-based Baylor Scott & White Health.  Dr. Rasmussen-Winkler earned her medical degree from Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and completed a vascular neurology fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas.  With a passion for helping patients, families and the community, she advocates greater awareness of the signs of stroke. She also conducts research to help improve the quality of care and treatment for stroke patients. She has been recognized as a Rising Star, Super Doctor in 2015, 2016, and 2017.  Dr. Rasmussen-Winkler leads Scott & White Medical Center – Temple’s comprehensive stroke center and supports stroke programs at Baylor Scott & White medical centers in Central Texas.


Support for this campaign is provided by Genentech Inc., a member of the Roche Group.




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