RANCHO PALOS VERDES (CBSLA) — Dorothy Farris was in a Zoom chat with some longtime friends when they began to notice that Ferris was showing signs of a stroke.
“We only go normally an hour, because people have other things to do,” Farris said.
But on their July 30 video call, 69-year-old Farris and her girlfriends decided to to continue for about 15 more minutes.
That’s when she suddenly started feeling strange.
“As we were going around and we were talking about how we met our husbands, we were sharing laughter,” Farris said. “The next thing I knew, I heard a voice say, ‘Dorothy?’ I didn’t move and I think they thought the Zoom had frozen.”
The Zoom hadn’t locked up. Farris was having a stroke before their eyes. She suddenly was unable to control her speech and fell over.
Her friends immediately sprang into action. Farris was transported to Torrance Memorial Medical Center, where she went into emergency surgery.
“Her friends did the right thing by calling 911,” said Dr. Shlee Song, the hospital’s stroke care director. “Recognizing the symptoms of stroke — so, a facial droop, arm weakness, and speech being affected — those are all things where we know there’s a possibility of a stroke.”
On Friday, Farris got the chance to meet the doctors who saved her life. Doctors said she had a blood clot in the left side of her brain.
“To see them in person and be able to thank them…I tend to get emotional when it comes to that, because they saved my life and there’s really not a way to thank people for doing that,” Farris said.
Farris is walking and talking normally now.
A stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the U.S. and a major factor in adult disability. Experts say that’s why it’s important to recognize the signs and act quickly.