Terresa Roberts is used to putting others before herself.
As a mother of 5, a reserve deputy and a teacher of troubled youth at the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center, Terresa's nature entails giving of herself to many.
That's a reason why, in the summer of 2016, the then 51-year-old brushed aside illness and tried to continue going about her responsibilities. On a liquid diet in preparation for a routine colonoscopy, Terresa attributed dizziness and lightheadedness to low blood sugar and the lack of solid food. She made tea, but dropped her cup. While she was cleaning up the spill, her 18-year-old son asked what was wrong.
"I didn't recognize anything major was happening," Terresa says. "I told my son I would drink some juice and then take a nap. He didn't buy it. He was worried and went to our next-door neighbor for help."
The neighbor had lost his mother to a stroke, which made him especially sensitive to Terresa's condition. He took one look at her and called 911.
"When the EMTs arrived to check me out, they said my blood sugar was 89 (normal)," Terresa says. "Strangely, that is a detail I remember and always will. I walked to the ambulance under my own power, but in the 1-mile drive between my home and the hospital, I went from code green to code red."
Terresa had suffered a stroke. At the local hospital in Ottawa, Kansas, she underwent a CT scan and IV tPA in accordance with stroke care conditions. But she would require specialized expertise.