Stroke victim thanks paramedics who helped her

Silvana Shirvanian hadn't seen any of them since waking up the morning of Aug. 8, unable to get out of bed

By Andy Nguyen
Glendale News-Press

GLENDALE, Calif. — A Glendale woman wanted to personally give thanks to the first responders who helped her after she suffered a stroke three months ago.

It was this past Wednesday afternoon when Silvana Shirvanian embraced each of the Glendale Fire Department’s paramedics who provided medical assistance to her. She hadn’t seen any of them since waking up the morning of Aug. 8, unable to get out of bed.

She also found she couldn’t see out of her left eye, and her speech was slurred. Struggling to get up, the 60-year-old fell from her bed and onto the floor.

“I tried for, God knows, 10 or 15 minutes to pull myself up. But I couldn’t,” Shirvanian said.

Her sister, who she lives with in the 600 block of North Geneva Street, heard Shirvanian struggling and called 911.

When the paramedics arrived, they quickly determined she had suffered a stroke and transported her to Adventist Health Glendale for treatment.

Doctors discovered the stroke didn’t happen that morning; it actually began the previous evening — a full 12 hours before she woke up with partial paralysis.

“I was shocked,” she said. “Before, in the evening, I had a little party with my sister and in-laws.”

Other than a smoking habit, Shirvanian said she had no other health issues and had passed a medical exam the previous month. According to her sister, 69-year-old Annie Shirvanian, she didn’t show any symptoms during the party.

Two days after receiving treatment, Shirvanian was back on her feet. She said she began to walk around the hospital, thanking all the doctors and nurses who provided medical care.

“I was then discharged from the hospital on Friday and drove to work on Monday,” she said.

After the discharge, Shirvanian also wanted to thank the paramedics who helped her. And, showing no outward signs of suffering from a stroke, she finally got to thank them this week.

“It was very important to meet the people who saved my life,” she said, referring to fire paramedic James Rohrig, engineer David An and Capt. Jeff Casilli.

Casilli said they don’t usually see patients after treating them and thought it was “pretty awesome” that Shirvanian wanted to thank them personally. He was also amazed at the extent of her recovery and appreciative of meeting her again under better circumstances.

“We try to follow up and see what happened to them, but we don’t always get to hear back,” he said.

Since August, Shirvanian said her family has helped her along the recovery process, making sure she’s getting enough rest and not overexerting herself.

The stroke also led her to quit smoking.

“Haven’t touched one cigarette,” she said.

Copyright 2017 Glendale News-Press

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