Inspire Me

Surviving A Stroke: Wyoming Patient Tells Her Story

Sandie and Glen Stellpflug have spent all 56 years of their marriage living on a rural ranch outside of Guernsey, WY. In the spring of 2023, they spent a normal Sunday morning going to church before returning to the ranch for lunch. Sandie sat down in the living room when Glen noticed that something was wrong.

“Her face had collapsed on the left side and her speech was terrible,” said Glen. “I said, ‘You’ve had a stroke or something. I’m calling 911.’”

Emergency services arrived within a few minutes and Sandie was transported to Banner Health’s Platte County Memorial Hospital. They determined she needed a higher level of care and she was airlifted to the primary stroke center at Banner Wyoming Medical Center.

Strokes happen when blood flow is restricted to the brain, usually because of a clot in an artery, which is what was causing Sandie’s stroke. Fortunately for her, Charles Bowkley, MD, and interventional radiologist and the medical director of stroke at Banner Wyoming Medical Center, was waiting when she arrived at the medical center. Sandie was immediately taken to the interventional radiology suite, where Dr. Bowkley inserted a tiny catheter into her brain to grab the clot. Blood flow was immediately restored and Sandie was able to move and speak again.

Time is critical in the event of a stroke. Further damage to the brain can be prevented or reversed when acting quickly and calling 911. Despite living more than 100 miles from the nearest primary stroke center, Sandie is able to live her life to the fullest due to the quick action taken by her husband to identify her symptoms and get her the care she needed.

“It is wonderful to be able to do things. I’m actually able to have my life back,” said Sandie. “It’s just a blessing.”

A year after her stroke, Glen and Sandie tell her story.

Learn more about your risk for stroke by taking our free stroke risk assessment. If you have questions about your risk for stroke talk with a Banner Health provider.

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