It was Christmas Eve in New Richmond, Wisconsin, and Stan and Kelly Sias were celebrating with their extended family. Then Stan started to feel funny.

“At some point, I looked down and I had a death grip on the kitchen counter, and I wasn’t sure why,” he said. “As soon as I started to let go of it, I started to tip over.”

A relative thought Stan must be having stroke and needed to get to the hospital. They called Westfields Hospital on the way, and, as Stan said, “They were certainly waiting for us.”

Westfields springs into action

Once Stan arrived, Westfields caregivers went right to work, doing tests, asking questions and exploring every possible symptom.

“Everything just went clickety-clickety, there was no waiting or downtime,” Kelly said. “It was so great. The attention, the communication, the multiple times people would check on him. I never once felt like this isn’t happening fast enough or we’re waiting too long.”

“I felt like I was the only one getting attention in the facility,” Stan added. “It was a flurry of activity.”

Stan had indeed had a stroke and an ambulance was called to take him to Regions Hospital, where he would spend a couple of days before heading home to Hudson.

Stan’s recovery

Even during those two days, he wasn’t feeling like a typical stroke patient.

“I was kind of an anomaly on the stroke floor at Regions,” he said. “I wanted to get up and walk around.”

These days, Stan feels like he’s pretty much recovered, although he is extra careful working with tools in his workshop and he’s a little tentative walking on certain surfaces, like bleachers. But he’s able to do everything he wants to do. And he says it’s in large part to the great care he received right away at Westfields Hospital.

“If you’re going to have a stroke, short of actually having it at the hospital, this was the best-case scenario,” Stan said.

“Saying we’re grateful for the care he received would be an understatement,” Kelly added. “The attention and constant activity from the second we pulled in was absolutely wonderful.

“It was like a Christmas miracle.”