By Matt Kroschel

FRISCO, Colo. (CBS4)– Her hands went numb, she could not move her mouth. Alice Wood knew something was wrong, her daughter, a nurse, knew her mom was having a serious stroke.

Wood suffered the stroke while visiting Breckenridge to celebrate her 80th birthday in February from her home in Westport Point, Mass. She ended up in the ER at Summit Medical Center in Frisco.

Alice Wood (credit: CBS)

There was a blizzard at the time, so instead of taking a flight on Flight For Life helicopter for further emergency care down in the Front Range, a brave ambulance crew pushed through the snow and wind that had closed Interstate 70. They made it safely.

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After weeks of rehabilitation, Wood is reliving her ordeal because she wants to warn other people of the signs for a stroke and how important time is in the equation.

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For her daughter Kathy Black, who is an operating nurse at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center, it was a stressful situation knowing her mom was in such serious situation.

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“We knew the importance of time, how even minutes could mean she would not be able to recover,” Black said.

May is National Stroke Awareness Month. Knowing the signs of stroke can allow first responders the time they need to give lifesaving medication and treatment.

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Black says to “Act FAST:”

FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

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ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? The person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?

TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.


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