Published on July 11, 2022

Ridgeview employee in the ‘right place at the right time’ for immediate stroke care

Ridgeview Waconia Campus ED

It was an ordinary morning in July 2019 for Ridgeview employee Evelyn Persons, St. Bonifacius. She was working at the front desk at the Waconia Campus hospital, directing a patient to the Imaging Department when she suddenly had difficulty speaking. “I knew what I wanted to say, but the words wouldn’t come out,” Evelyn explained.

Feeling anxious, Evelyn turned to a coworker who immediately noticed that something was wrong. Evelyn panicked. Although she knew something serious was happening, she was unable to express what she was thinking, and the few words she was able to speak didn’t make sense.

‘The overhead page for the stroke team was for me!’

Evelyn’s coworker made the quick decision to walk her down the hallway to Ridgeview’s Emergency Department. By the time they arrived, her face was drooping—a sign that alerted the triage nurse to immediately page Ridgeview’s Acute Stroke Team.

As a Ridgeview employee for more than 11 years, the page alerting the stroke team was very familiar to Evelyn, but it wasn’t until the triage nurse looked at her and said, ‘It's for you’ that she realized what was happening. “Instantly, there were people everywhere—some were directly caring for me, and some were there simply to watch for certain signs,” Evelyn shared.

Ridgeview is certified as an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital on two campuses.

Ridgeview has been designated as an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital (ASRH) since 2014. Among other criteria, this designation requires an Acute Stroke Team be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Ridgeview holds this certification at both its Chaska and Waconia Campuses. 

The stroke team’s assessment confirmed that Evelyn had, in fact, suffered a stroke. Through Ridgeview’s partnership with Minneapolis Heart Institute®, Evelyn was transferred to Abbott Northwestern Hospital for further stroke management and treatment—including the placement of a heart monitor, which Evelyn says now gives her “peace of mind.”

This unique partnership allows Evelyn and patients in the west metro and beyond access to cardiovascular care close to home at the Ridgeview Heart Center. Cardiologists from Minneapolis Heart Institute® treat patients at Ridgeview's Chaska and Waconia Campuses.

‘The staff knew exactly what to do to take care of me.’

Evelyn is thankful for the Ridgeview team. “The whole experience was unbelievable, but everything went like clockwork,” Evelyn said. “I was in the right place at the right time. The staff is dedicated and compassionate. They knew exactly what to do, and they explained things to me as they were happening.”Evelyn and her granddaughters

Because of the responsive care from the Ridgeview team, Evelyn recovered quickly and was able to return to work shortly after her stroke. “After returning, when I would hear the stroke team page, I would think to myself ‘It's so good that you're coming here because Ridgeview is going to take really good care of you,’” shared Evelyn. Evelyn has since retired and now enjoys gardening, traveling and spending time with her granddaughters.

Learn more about cardiovascular care at the Ridgeview Heart Center.