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Gloria Malcolm Arnold

An artist’s career continues despite stroke

Gloria Malcolm Arnold’s mind and hands work together to create award-winning paintings that are inspired by nature. Her portfolio reveals an extraordinary talent. Gloria has studied with legends in the field of American realism, and her work can be found in private and corporate collections in the U.S. and abroad. But in 2002, her amazing career was suddenly threatened when this highly-gifted artist suffered a stroke.

“We were playing dominoes with friends and as we were talking, I suddenly couldn’t get the words out that I was trying to say,” she recalled. Sudden difficulty speaking, a drooping face on one side, and inability to easily walk are common symptoms of stroke. “My friends asked me to try and walk, and I didn’t pass that test, either. My husband John called 9-1-1 and told them I was having a stroke.”

That quick action, combined with access to Berkshire Medical Center’s stroke program, made all the difference. Gloria was taken to BMC and quickly evaluated by the Emergency Department physicians. After a CT Scan and analysis by a neurologist – a doctor trained in the diagnosis and treatment of nervous system disorders – the initial fear was confirmed. She had suffered a stroke.

Gloria had two major factors working in her favor. The first, which is critical for anyone suffering a stroke, is rapid action. That fast call to 9-1-1 set in motion the chain of events that not only helped to save Gloria’s life, but also greatly aided her chances of making a full recovery without the disabilities that often are a result of stroke.

Rapid emergency response kept Gloria inside the window of time that allowed for the use of a clot-busting drug called tPA, which can help prevent the debilitating effects of stroke. The medication can only be given to a stroke patient within the first three hours after onset. For Gloria, time was everything. “That medicine, administered to me at BMC, reversed all of my symptoms,” she said.

Today, Gloria Malcolm Arnold spends her days doing what she loves best: painting and helping others to paint through classes she teaches in the studio adjacent to her Lee home. “My biggest piece of luck was that there were people with me when I suffered my stroke,” she said. “Berkshire County is very fortunate to have a hospital like BMC with a stroke unit and an emergency department that’s equipped and trained to help stroke victims when they arrive.”

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