All Patient Stories

Sarah’s Stroke Story

May 28, 2019

“Dr. Sharma saved my life.”

Jasper resident Sarah Mauldin was just 40 years old when she became something most people her age never imagine becoming – a stroke patient.

Sarah and her fiancé, Larry W. Self, were driving home from the U.S. Post Office on Oct. 15 when Sarah began exhibiting symptoms of a stroke. 

Sarah Mauldin Stroke “Her face was drawing up and she had paralysis on her left side,” Larry remembers.

Though Sarah had previously experienced headaches and neck pain, Larry knew something was different this time when his fiancée pulled the car over and asked him to drive.

He knew something was wrong – terribly wrong.

Larry drove Sarah the 8 miles to Walker Baptist Medical Center, where the emergency department team jumped into stroke mode. Realizing Sarah’s situation was dire, the hospital called for a helicopter to transport her to Brookwood Baptist Medical Center where Dr. J. Sharma, interventional neurologist, would have the tools needed to perform a live-saving procedure.

Dr. Sharma utilized a mechanical thrombectomy, or clot removal, procedure to take a clot out of Sarah’s brain.

“Dr. Sharma saved her life,” Larry recalled with gratitude.

The procedure was a success and Sarah was able to give her physician a “thumbs up” from the table.

Sarah Mauldin with her Fiance and DoctorFrom left: Dr. J. Sharma, stroke patient Sarah Mauldin and her fiance, Larry W. Self While Sarah still has a long path to complete recovery, she and her fiancé credit the medical teams at Walker Baptist and Brookwood Baptist for the excellent care she received.

“Everyone was just wonderful to us at Brookwood,” said Larry.

He also credits the helicopter team who was able to get Sarah to Brookwood in enough time for Dr. Sharma to perform the clot removal.

Sarah is currently in outpatient therapy to regain some of her motor skills lost from the stroke. She has some trouble talking and with mobility, but otherwise is recovering well.&

She and Larry were in the middle of planning their wedding at the beach when a ride home from the post office changed their lives forever.

The couple, who are on the road to recovery together, plan to wed when Sarah reaches full recovery.

It’s definitely a positive for Sarah to have Larry in her corner as he pushes Sarah through the trials of physical therapy when she isn’t feeling up to par.

“She’s so stubborn and hard-headed,” Larry said with a laugh. “But her willpower and determination have gotten her this far.”