Since the start of COVID-19, people have taken to doing more things virtually. More people are working from home and connecting with friends and family through apps like Zoom.
Zoom is widely used for work conferencing, homeschool meetings with teachers, and even “parties” or get-togethers with friends and loved ones.
Like many other people, 69-year-old Dorothy Farris found herself able to connect with friends through a weekly Zoom meeting. She and a group of gal friends were using it to stay connected and keep up with one another since the pandemic made it difficult to do so in-person.
Turns out, it’s a good thing they had that weekly meeting on Zoom. On July 30th, 2020, Dorothy’s friends noticed something that would save her life.
The meeting started out like any other. The friends were chatting, catching up on what had happened the past week, sharing memories, etc. As Rita Plantamura told KTLA 5, that particular meeting they were laughing and taking turns recalling how they met their husbands.
Dorothy was the last friend to share her story, and her time was nearly cut short by the clock. “We normally end our calls at 6 o’clock on the dot. For some unknown reason — I’d like to think it was divine intervention — that we extended this call to 6:16 that night and that’s when the symptoms first appeared,” Dorothy’s friend Pam Barclay told KTLA 5.
In her interview with KTLA 5, Plantamura recalled Dorothy’s turn. She shared, “We just said, ‘Dorothy, OK your turn. How did you meet Bill?’” But instead of a response, the group was met with silence. Then Dorothy started to say some slurred words and slump over.
Thankfully, the friends immediately noticed something was wrong. Dorothy’s friend Miki Jordan Emenhiser shared how the friends pulled together to get her help. “Intuitively, everybody just knew what role to take, to call 911, to call her husband, to stay on the Zoom with her,” Miki Jordan Emenhiser said.
Soon, the paramedics arrived.
They rappelled Dorothy’s locked gate and they were able to get inside just in time to bring her to When the paramedics arrived, Dorothy was immediately taken to Torrance Memorial Medical Center where they discovered a clot in her brain. She immediately underwent surgery to remove it.
Dr. Shlee Song, one of the medical center’s doctors, emphasized the importance of time when it comes to stroke victims. “Every minute that somebody is without blood flow to certain areas of the brain, you lose function,” she said.
In her interview with KTLA 5, Dorothy recalls feeling off, but not realizing she was having a stroke at that moment. She’s very grateful that it all played out the way that it did. “I refer to myself as the miracle child,” Dorothy said. “It took four splendid friends that saved my life and I don’t know how you thank people who do that.”
Had the Zoom call ended on time or had her friends not noticed how urgent the situation was, Dorothy would’ve been home alone without help. And one can only imagine what that outcome would’ve meant.
There’s a saying in the medical community that with stroke patients, “time is brain.” Every minute truly counts and knowing the warning signs could help you save someone’s life (and brain function!).
Some common signs of a stroke include the following:
- Sudden weakness or numbness in the face, legs, or arm, especially on one side of your body.
- Sudden feeling of confusion, having trouble speaking, and even having difficulty understanding speech.
- Experiencing trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Experience trouble walking, feeling dizzy, and even sudden loss of balance
- Sudden lack of coordination.
- Experiencing severe headache.
If you recognize these signs in yourself or a loved one, immediately call 911. When it comes to a stroke, time is of the essence. Just like Dorothy’s friends, you could save a life!