Pixel Tracker

Friday, March 22 , 2019, 6:49 pm | Fair 59º

 
 
 
Your Health

‘Stroke-Ready’ Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital Makes a Difference in ‘Christmas Miracle’

Janice Mathews
(Cottage Health photo)

It was a normal work day in Solvang when it happened. Janice Mathews saw an old friend from high school, and she suddenly forgot her friend’s name.

Mathews knew something was wrong. An immediate fear struck her, and she thought I’ve lost something.

“It was around Christmas in 2017, and I was at my job in the bank,” she recalled. “A friend of mine came up, and suddenly I couldn’t remember her name, and I became very confused. And then a co-worker approached and my memory of her name was gone too.”

Immediately, Mathews’ colleague took her to the Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital emergency department, and she was quickly diagnosed with a stroke and given tPA stroke medication, a powerful blood thinner.

Tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA) is a great advancement for stroke victims, and timely treatment with it can prevent blood clots from expanding and permit blood to flow to the affected area of the brain in ischemic strokes, helping to prevent permanent brain damage. More than 80 percent of strokes are ischemic, which means they are caused by blood clots interrupting blood flow in an area of the brain.

Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital is certified as a “Stroke Ready” facility by Santa Barbara County Emergency Services, which means that when a patient arrives in the ER with stroke symptoms, stroke protocol is implemented with a CT scan and lab work done immediately.

Mathews was no stranger to Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital. All three of her children had been born there.

In fact, her family has strong ties with the hospital. They had moved to the Santa Ynez Valley in 1957 when she was a small child, and her parents were among the very first donors to help establish the hospital. She has a fond history with the hospital, and this time was no exception.

“With the stroke, I suddenly had a lot of fear,” Mathews said. “At SYVCH, the staff treated me so gently and were so respectful of the fear I was experiencing.

“They were never dismissive, and when I needed something, they were right there.”

From SYVCH, Mathews was transported by ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, and by the time she arrived, her memory had returned. She felt like she had recovered, all within the drive time from Santa Ynez to Santa Barbara.

When asked if she knew where she was, she answered, “Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.” Her thoughts were clear.

Mathews wanted to go home as soon as possible, but her neurologist, Dr. Philip Delio, thought it wise to monitor her a while longer. After two days of steady progress, she returned home to rest and recuperate.

“I made a total recovery thanks to Cottage,” Mathews said. “I call it my Christmas miracle!”

Support Noozhawk Today!

Our professional journalists work tirelessly to report on local news so you can be more informed and engaged in your community. This quality, local reporting is free for you to read and share, but it's not free to produce.

You count on us to deliver timely, relevant local news, 24/7. Can we count on you to invest in our newsroom and help secure its future?

We provide special member benefits to show how much we appreciate your support.

Email
I would like give...
Great! You're joining as a Red-Tailed Hawk!
  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

 

Special Reports

Heroin Rising
<p>Lizette Correa shares a moment with her 9-month-old daughter, Layla, outside their Goleta home. Correa is about to graduate from Project Recovery, a program of the Santa Barbara Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse, and is determined to overcome her heroin addiction — for herself and for her daughter. “I look at her and I think ‘I need to be here for her and I need to show her an example, I don’t want her to see me and learn about drugs’,” she says.</p>

In Struggle to Get Clean, and Stay That Way, Young Mother Battles Heroin Addiction

Santa Barbara County sounds alarm as opiate drug use escalates, spreads into mainstream population
Safety Net Series
<p>Charles Condelos, a retired banker, regularly goes to the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics for his primary care and to renew his prescription for back pain medication. He says Dr. Charles Fenzi, who was treating him that day at the Westside Clinic, and Dr. Susan Lawton are some of the best people he’s ever met.</p>

Safety Net: Patchwork of Clinics Struggles to Keep Santa Barbara County Healthy

Clinics that take all comers a lifeline for low-income patients, with new health-care law about to feed even more into overburdened system. First in a series
Prescription for Abuse
<p>American Medical Response emergency medical technicians arrive at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with little time to spare for victims of prescription drug overdoses.</p>

Quiet Epidemic of Prescription Drug Abuse Taking a Toll on Santa Barbara County

Evidence of addiction shows an alarming escalation, Noozhawk finds in Prescription for Abuse special report
Mental Health
<p>Rich Detty and his late wife knew something was wrong with their son, Cliff, but were repeatedly stymied in their attempts to get him help from the mental health system. Cliff Detty, 46, died in April while in restraints at Santa Barbara County’s Psychiatric Health Facility.</p>

While Son Struggled with Mental Illness, Father Fought His Own Battle

Cliff Detty's death reveals scope, limitations of seemingly impenetrable mental health system. First in a series