Barking dog alerts woman that she was having a stroke

By: Jane Heilmann .

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Sharon Solum of Moorhead, Minnesota, remembers waking up in the middle of the night on Feb. 11, 2017, wanting to check on her mother who’d had surgery the day before.

Solum struggled to get out of bed and couldn’t sit up. Suddenly her dog, Boo, started barking and jumping on her chest, something she’d never done before. Solum tried to brush off the dog and pull herself up, but she couldn’t. And Boo wouldn’t stop barking.

The sound woke her husband, who immediately noticed something was wrong. Solulm’s Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) mask was off to one side and whistling. And he noticed one side of her face had dropped and her speech was slurred. He quickly called 911 and told responders, “I think my wife is having a stroke.”

‘A miracle’

Solum remembers the ambulance ride to see the stroke experts at the Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, IVs in both arms and being in the catheter lab. She recalls that during the procedure Alex Drofa, M.D., cerebrovascular neurosurgeon at Sanford Stroke Center told her that her strength was immediately coming back in her left arm.

Solum spent three days recovering in the ICU, which is protocol. Her speech and mobility came back immediately, and she was checked out by both physical and occupational therapy.

“We truly believe God gave us a miracle!” she said.

Solum has regained full strength and is back to feeling good and working work full-time. She is grateful for quick actions by her husband, F-M Ambulance, Dr. Drofa and his team at Sanford Stroke Center, and her dog, Boo.

“I am so blessed. They saved my quality of life.”

Posted In Health Information, Heart