How Snapchat saved a stroke patient’s life with 12 minutes to spare

Social media app Snapchat has been credited with saving 39-year-old Darnisha Ladd’s life after a recorded video helped physicians diagnose the young stroke survivor, allowing them to administer life-saving medication with 12 minutes to spare, the Omaha World-Herald has reported.

Ladd was rushed to the emergency room just after 1 p.m. last July for a host of symptoms including lightheadedness, dizziness and shaking, the World-Herald wrote. At presentation her blood pressure was high and her head was pounding, but BP control and a clean CT scan meant she could return home later that day.

Ladd was under the care of Sherita White, her sister who’s also a nurse, when White realized Ladd still had an IV port in her arm from the hospital. White, known for “recording every funny face or silly laugh on Snapchat,” opened the app and took a video of her removing the port from Ladd’s arm.

By the time Ladd wound up in the ER again later that evening, she wasn’t able to talk or open her eyes. Doctors eventually confirmed a stroke, but the medication Ladd needed had to be administered within four and a half hours of symptom onset, and they knew little about her prior condition.

“We can potentially save her life or kill her,” Vishal Jani, the neurologist who treated Ladd, told the World-Herald. Since she couldn’t talk, Jani’s team couldn’t ask Ladd about her symptoms.

White then remembered the Snapchat video—a recording of Ladd speaking and moving normally that had a timestamp on it. Doctors got the medication to her with 12 minutes to spare in the four-and-a-half-hour timeline.

Ladd isn’t working right now, but said she hopes to in the future. Right now she’s in outpatient therapy and is relearning to speak and walk.

“I feel great,” she said. “I feel very motivated to get myself back to 100 percent.”

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