Jen Bogart struggles with her emotions when she recounts the stroke she suffered eight months ago.
The then 39-year-old Charlottetown resident remembers collapsing on her patio and being rushed to hospital by friends.
She wasn’t able to speak or move but her eyes were open the entire time and she remembers everything.
When she got to the hospital a physician administered the clot-busting drug tPA.
“It saved my life,’’ Bogart told The Guardian following a news conference on Wednesday in Charlottetown to launch a new fundraising project called Quarter Magic for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
“We’re going to raise funds to support awareness on educating Islanders on how to recognize the signs (of a stroke),’’ she said. “I got to the hospital on time.’’
The Heart and Stroke Foundation launched the new fundraising initiative at Eastlink Centre on Wednesday. They’re calling it Quarter Magic. The goal is to break the existing Guinness world record for the longest line of coins, which now stands at 75.24 kilometres.
The campaign will wrap up on Nov. 22 at the Eastlink Centre with an official coin-laying attempt. In order to break the record, the foundation needs 3,382,808 quarters to create an 80 kilometre line of quarters.
And, with the help from those engaged in revenue-generating activities, they will raise $845,702 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s work to prevent disease, saves lives and promote recovery. Based on the Island’s current population of about 145,000, just $6 per resident will result in success.
Charlotte Comrie, foundation CEO, says it is absolutely vital people recognize the signs of a stroke and call 911 immediately.
“Getting to the hospital in a two- to three-hour window is vital so that appropriate tests can be done, it allows an individual experiencing (a stroke) to be eligible for a tPA which is the only known drug to limit signs of a stroke,’’ Comrie said. “It’s the only way we can mitigate against the devastating impact of stroke.’’
In P.E.I., approximately 350 strokes occur each year. At any given time, there are 800 stroke survivors in P.E.I., many of them living with varying degrees of disability.
The clot-busting drug tPA can be administered to people with ischemic stroke and minimize the damage but the window for receiving this medication is between three and four hours from the onset of symptoms.
In 2009, the provincial government began a four-year phased-in comprehensive stroke care program that, to date, has resulted in a 10-bed acute stroke unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for interdisciplinary stroke care, a provincial ambulatory stroke rehabilitation clinic and two district ambulatory stroke rehabilitation teams and telestroke between provincial ambulatory stroke rehabilitation clinic in Charlottetown and district embulatory stroke rehabilitation team in Summerside.