Skip to Content

Jim McNally, Winona, stroke at age 65

Timing is everything

Jim_stroke.tractorAs a farmer by trade and avid fisherman, Jim McNally, from Winona, knows firsthand that timing is everything. This proved especially true while Jim was enjoying a weekend of fishing with friends near Alexandria in February 2014. The group had enjoyed breakfast, gone to the bait shop and were sitting around the kitchen visiting before heading out ice fishing. That’s when Jim, age 65, felt something coming on and suddenly knew something was very wrong. He collapsed to the floor and his friends called 911.

An ambulance took Jim to Douglas County Hospital in Alexandria where staff jumped into action. Thankfully, a mere 11 days before, Douglas County Hospital had began to offer Telestroke, a type of video conferencing technology that allows a patient and doctor in rural areas to connect in real time with a stroke neurologist from St. Cloud Hospital Stroke Center 24/7. Physicians in Alexandria connected Jim to Fareed Suri, MBBS, stroke neurologist at St. Cloud Hospital.

“They said they would put a doctor on a screen at the foot of the bed. I’d be able to see him and he’d be able to see me. He came on there and asked me to do some things like raise my arms and legs. I couldn’t lift anything on my left side,” Jim said. “I was pretty amazed at something like that. If we were talking on the phone he couldn’t have seen something like that.” Through Telestroke, Dr. Suri evaluates patients in other hospitals, views diagnostic scans and recommends treatment. This technology saves valuable time and brain which allows patients to recover quicker and have less disability. “They started medicine right there. That’s what I thought was great, because if I had to wait to get to St. Cloud it might have been a different outcome,” Jim said. Jim was transferred to St. Cloud for further testing. “Within an hour or two after getting the clot busting medicine, I started to have some movement in my arm and leg,” Jim said. After two days in the St. Cloud Hospital, Jim was discharged to go home.

Jim.stroke patient with cowsOf his experience, Jim reflects, “If it had to happen, I couldn’t have been in a better place. He was a great doctor and made some great calls. I thank the Lord it worked out the way it did.” Now back at home, on the farm that’s been in the family since 1863, Jim has a new lease on life. “It brings you closer to your family, you think about it every day. I’m pretty lucky.”



Related Locations

Jim McNally, Stroke Survivor