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Patient Experiences



Beulah is always eager to go. She doesn’t have to go very far or any place special. She just wants to get off the sofa and go places.

“I’m ready to go!”

Yet if it weren’t for her faith and the angels resting on her shoulders, the 86-year old Tucson homemaker wouldn’t be going anywhere. That would be devastating, as she has a lot to do.  After all, she has nine children, 35 grandchildren and 77 great-grandchildren.

In August of 2010, Beulah was getting ready to go to the store with her youngest daughter, 51-year old Patricia. Beulah’s head began to ache, and she needed to lie down. Leroy, her husband of more than 60 years, gave her a helping hand when he noticed she didn’t seem her usual self. Unsure what to make of it, he called Patricia – who is also their neighbor – over to their house. She knew immediately that her mother was having a stroke and called 911.

The paramedics from Tucson Fire Department quickly arrived and determined Beulah needed to be seen right away at Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital, a Joint Commission- certified Primary Stroke Center. Beulah was experiencing many classic symptoms of stroke: she couldn’t see or use her right extremities; her speech was garbled; she couldn’t understand what was being said; and she couldn’t follow directions.

When she arrived at the hospital, Francisco Valdivia, MD, a neurologist at Carondelet St. Mary’s, took charge of Beulah’s care. She quickly received a special procedure called IV tPA, the clot-stopping drug Tissue Plasminogen Activator. A catheter was inserted into her body and up to her brain where the blood clot was located. Then the tPA was infused directly to the blood clot in the brain, opening the blood vessels that bring blood and oxygen to the brain.

“She was completely blind. It was not a good scenario. We elected to go with IV tPA, and she has made a remarkable recovery. She can see again,” recalls Dr. Valdivia.

The right time, right treatment and right hospital saved this woman from the very real possibility of spending her remaining years severely disabled.

“The people are wonderful here at St. Mary’s,” said Beulah. “I might come back,” she says with a wink.

“It’s been a great recovery. She’s really bounced back,” said her 57-year old son, Irving, who was at Beulah’s side during her entire hospital stay. “From where she was to where she is now, it’s amazing. We are so thankful for St. Mary’s.”

Beulah is a woman of strong faith. She is a charter member of Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church on East 26th Street in Tucson. She’s been attending services there for more than 55 years.

“She is an extraordinary woman,” said E. Allen Stanley, Jr., Pastor of Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church. “I call her my Proverbs 31 mother.” Proverbs 31 is about a mother who loves her son and gives advice for life. Pastor Stanley extols “her values and wisdom and words. Every church should be graced with a Beulah,” he said.

“We were blessed,” said Beulah. “I trusted Him. If Jesus didn’t wake me up in the morning, I wouldn’t get up. We can have all the doctors, but it takes God to guide their hand.”

With her devotion to the church and Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital’s Mission to Heal, Beulah can again take His hand and go places.

* The former name of Carondelet Heart and Vascular Institute

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Certified Primary Stroke Centers


Carondelet is committed to providing the highest quality stroke care with two Primary Stroke Centers certified by the Joint Commission:

Carondelet Neurological Institute
at St. Joseph's Hospital

350 N. Wilmot Road
Tucson, AZ 85711
(520) 873-3000

St. Mary's Hospital

1601 W. St. Mary's Road
Tucson, AZ 85745
(520) 872-3000