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$50 screenings offered for Stroke Awareness Month
Adventist Hinsdale and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospitals are offering stroke screenings for $50. May is National Stroke Awareness Month. To make an appointment, call (630) 856-7070.

In an emergency, timing is everything – especially during a stroke. Stroke symptoms can include a sudden onset of:
•    difficulty speaking,
•    confusion,
•    numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body,
•    loss of vision,
•    vertigo,
•    loss of balance, and
•    headache.
Blocked arteries can increase your risk of stroke, which is the nation’s third leading cause of death. Identify your risk of stroke with a neck ultrasound screening, a painless test that shows how well blood is flowing through your arteries.

Raymond Baldwin was watching TV and fighting a bad cough one day in late December when the next thing he knew, his legs simply wouldn’t work. It took the 65-year-old Willowbrook resident 10 minutes to push himself off the couch, only to fall on the floor and struggle for another five minutes to reach the phone.

“I knew I was in trouble because I couldn’t talk,” said Baldwin, owner of LaGrange Camera. “So I pressed redial on the phone. At first, my girlfriend thought I was kidding, but then she called my daughter and she called the paramedics.”

According to the National Stroke Association, more than four million Americans are living with the after-effects of a stroke, from difficulty walking to trouble eating. Baldwin spent five days at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and received very good news: although he’d had a stroke, there was no permanent damage. He spent the next three months undergoing speech therapy at Adventist Paulson Rehab, La Grange. Baldwin worked with speech-language pathologist Linda Groenewold on naming everyday objects, formulating sentences and reading aloud. She implemented strategies to improve speech production, such as thinking of the first letter of words he wished to say and slowing down when talking.

Because Baldwin tended to misspell words or eliminate them in a sentence, she taught him proofreading and error correction. He practiced completing forms. They role-played hypothetical scenes at the camera store, including answering the telephone, giving explanations to customers and interviewing prospective employees.

“Raymond was so driven and motivated,” Groenewold said. “He participated faithfully and worked to his absolute, maximum potential.”

Baldwin gives the credit to Groenewold and Adventist Paulson Rehab, La Grange.

“At first I questioned whether I could do it, but Linda was great,” Baldwin said. “She gave me the confidence to go back and use the knowledge I had and to get going and talk again.”