No one wants to get ‘the phone call’. The type of call that changes all that is important in a split second. Last Saturday was a normal weekend for the Mannino family. I was doing some p2P work, AJ spent the night at a friend’s house, Angela was doing a photo session, Joey was in southern California (about 5 hours from home) with friends and Tony was working his second job. Tony wouldn’t be home until midnight. At 8:00pm my phone rang and I saw “Tony Mannino”. I answered with excitement, “Hi Tony, I miss you”. The voice that answered wasn’t Tony. It was a nurse calling to let me know my husband was in a hospital in San Francisco, about two hours from home. I began to write down the information. Tony had suffered a major stroke and was in ICU. I needed to gather the kids. I called Angela and said, “You need to get home, and please get AJ on your way home.” I called Joey and told him what I knew, and told him NOT to get in the car and drive – I didn’t need another accident. I called my mom. That is where I started to lose it. She calmed me down enough to gather what I needed. The next call was to Tony’s parents. There is no graceful way to initiate a conversation with such tragic news. A few moments later Angela and AJ were home. On our way to San Francisco, I was making calls to family and friends (Angela was driving). Reaching out to our faith community and asking for prayers were some of the first calls I made.
Turns out Tony had had the stroke around 1:30pm. When he had the stroke, he was standing next to EMTs and ambulances. As soon as he fell to his knees, the EMTs were with him in seconds. He could not have been in a better location for this to happen! They quickly assessed that it was a stroke and began treatment. He was transported to the first hospital and then transported to the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, which is a stroke care center. He was administered a drug called TPA – this is a clot busting drug. And even better, the care team did a procedure where they ran a catheter into his brain and were able to pull out the clots that were causing the stroke. By the time we arrived, Tony was stable. He couldn’t say much and didn’t want to open his eyes, but responded to all the questions the doctors were asking him. He could move his arms and legs.
After spending four days in ICU, one day in transitional ICU, and one day in a regular room, he walked out of the hospital. No paralysis or issues with his body. He does need speech therapy, but we are anticipating a full recovery. It is a miracle that he is here and doing well! A week later, on Father’s Day, we took him to a baseball game – Tony’s favorite sport!
There are a lot more details to this story – stories of God’s blessings and miracles being first, followed by the love of family and friends literally around the world. I would like to say thank you to my p2P family! The p2P team that I have worked with for seven years, my Forever co-workers, and the p2P peeps – everyone has been so supportive! The pixels2Pages community is very special. We get to know each other through our photos and stories. The bond grows deeper when we rally together to support each other. It is fun to celebrate the good times and come together in the tough times. I can’t express enough how much it meant to me to have you reach out to me and let me know you were thinking of me and my family. It is humbling to receive such abundant love.
- Facial droop is best seen when the person smiles.
- Arm: Ask the person to hold out their arms with hands facing up and close their eyes. One side will drift down in a stroke. Weakness/loss of sensation may be seen in an arm or leg.
- Speech: slurred, inappropriate words, or mute.
- Time to call your doctor or 911 immediately.
American Stroke Association: www.strokeassociation.org
National Stroke Association: www.stroke.org