June 18, 2014
Stroke Selfie? Woman's Video Leads To Diagnosis

A 49-year-old Toronto area woman's video selfie has proven crucial to her doctors, enabling them to diagnose her with a mini-stroke days after they told her the symptoms were the result of stress.

"I thought if I could show somebody what was happening, they would have a better understanding," Stacey Yepes said, speaking of her decision to record the harrowing moment. According to CBC News, Yepes' ordeal began in April, when she first had trouble speaking and felt as if her face had frozen. Fearing that she was experiencing a stroke, she headed to the local emergency room, where her tests came back clear. After giving her tips on stress management, doctors released her, but the numbing sensation returned as she left the hospital, hinting that Yepes' ordeal was far from over.

Just two days later, the left side of her body went numb while driving. Pulling over, Yepes grabbed her cellphone and started recording a video selfie that would eventually prove invaluable to her doctors.

Yepes says "The sensation is happening again," and after a moment points to her lower lip, frozen by the stroke, as she attempts to smile. As the stroke progresses, she demonstrates how difficult it is to raise her left arm. Returning to Mount Sinai Hospital in downtown Toronto, she was eventually referred to Toronto Western Hospital's stroke center. Dr. Cheryl Jaigobin, the stroke neurologist who treated Yepes, said "In all my years treating stroke patients, we've never seen anyone tape themselves before," describing the video selfie that convinced doctors Yepes was suffering a mini-stroke. Also known as a TIA, or transient ischemic attack, the event is differentiated from a stroke only by the fact that the clot or blockage which causes it is temporary, quickly dissolving and often doing no permanent damage to the brain, according to the CDC.

Doctors were able to identify the affected area of Yepes' brain and the cause of the three mini-strokes she suffered. According to her doctors, Yepes' strokes were caused by arteriosclerosis, a buildup of plaque in the arteries. A blood clot formed, blocking an artery in her brain temporarily.

Doctors are studying Yepes stroke selfie while she recovers at home.
As Yepes recovers at home, doctors are studying her stroke selfie to see what they can learn from it.

One of the leading killers in the U.S., strokes can be terrifying events that leave victims partially or fully paralyzed, often resulting in survivors being trapped in their own bodies for various periods of time. As The Inquisitr previously reported, a stroke patient in Sweden was chillingly able to hear doctors discuss donating his organs, while he was unable to move and alert them to the fact that he was conscious.

Yepes is currently recovering, while doctors at her local hospital have asked for a copy of the video, to see what they can learn from her stroke selfie.

[Images via CBC and MSN]