LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A woman in Louisville who's saving lives by improving the way we treat strokes is getting national recognition for her decades in the cardiovascular field. The American Heart Association just selected Norton Healthcare's Lynn Hundley as its Healthcare Volunteer of the Year. It's an award only given to one person in the country.
Hundley lost her father to heart disease at 42, when she was just beginning her career in nursing. She's made it her mission to prevent cardiovascular deaths ever since.
In America, someone dies of stroke every 4 minutes. That's about 140,000 people a year.
For those who survive, getting immediate treatment is crucial, but not all hospitals are equipped to provide advanced care. That's where Hundley comes in, training others in the medical field. She's worked with hospitals across the country and has spent a great deal of time with medical staff at the University of Louisville, Baptist Health and Norton Healthcare in Louisville.
"It's really cool to be recognized for doing something you love to do every day. It makes a difference. From the Jean Watson theory of nursing: Maybe you're here for this moment," Hundley said.
Hundley says spotting a stroke is the first step toward stopping it and there's a simple test that could save your life or the life of someone you love. Just remember: BE FAST. If you suspect stroke, look at the person's Balance, their Eyes, Face, Arm and Speech and know Time is everything. Call 911 immediately.
"Right now, during COVID, our volumes have gone down so much. I know people didn't stop having strokes, but they aren't coming in and that's not a good thing," Hundley said.
Recent numbers confirm her concern. Norton Healthcare's volume of stroke patients over the last few months has dropped drastically, beginning right when the pandemic hit in March.
Comparing May of 2020 to May of 2019, hospitals saw more than a 36 percent drop in cases. Hundley says never hesitate to go to the hospital when your life is on the line.
The American Heart Association will honor Hundley for her efforts as Healthcare Volunteer of the Year at an awards ceremony Oct. 28.