Stacy's Story

Mother of Four Survives Stroke Thanks to Attentive Friend, Medical Care and Therapy Stacy Tutak

Stacy Tutak, a 34-year-old mother of four, has made a remarkable recovery from a stroke, thanks to the expert care she received at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and her own determination to get well.

The treatments Tutak received at University Hospitals Neurological Institute’s Comprehensive Stroke Center spared her brain functioning, and post-stroke rehabilitation therapies restored her mobility and speech.

Tutak is grateful for the care she received and the support from her community of Elyria, Ohio. Her medical journey began when she suddenly became unable to speak.

“I was outside, talking to my friend, Joanne, while my four kids played nearby. My mouth drooped and I had difficulty walking,” said Tutak.

Tutak’s friend, a respiratory therapist, recognized the signs of a stroke and told Tutak’s husband, Joe, to take her to the hospital.

Tutak’s husband drove her to Elyria Memorial Hospital, and from there she was airlifted to UH Cleveland Medical Center in Cleveland. Neurologists from the Comprehensive Stroke Center quickly diagnosed her with a torn artery and a blood clot.

Anthony Furlan, MD, co-chairman of UH Neurological Institute, ordered clot-busting medication therapy to clear the blood vessel and re-establish blood flow to Tutak’s brain.

Tutak’s husband was dismayed when the medical team cautioned him that she might have difficulty regaining speech, the use of one of her arms and walking. However, Tutak channeled her energy and began to improve with therapy, relearning how to talk, walk and even run.

“I know I’ll get through this. I don’t feel sorry for myself or feel like giving up ¾ ever,” said Tutak.

Dr. Furlan says Tutak has had dramatic improvement. “You’d be hard pressed to tell she ever had a stroke,” he said.

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