Michigan woman says selfies saved her life

Posted Sep 05 2018 05:42PM EDT

Video Posted Sep 05 2018 05:38PM EDT

FRASER, Mich. (WJBK) - A southeast Michigan woman says her selfies were more than social media fun - they saved her life after she noticed signs of a stroke in her pictures.

Juanita Branch jokes that selfie saved my life would be the title of her new book, but that's because it's true. It really did save her life.

At Henry Ford Hospital in Clinton Township Wednesday, nearly a month after suffering a stroke, the 63-year-old woman says says the scary moment came the morning of August 13th.

"I decided to get up and take a selfie to update my Facebook Page," she said.

She took a few shots and looked through them and noticed that something wasn't right.

"Each one got worse and I'm like what the heck is going on?" Branch said.

She was started and checked her face in the bathroom mirror and noticed one side of her face was drooping. She was getting ready to go to the hospital and was still inside her Fraser senior apartment complex and noticed that her systoms were getting worse - fast.

"I sat back down this time I balance and everything is gone," she said.

By the time the ambulance pulled up, Branch was losing her speech. She was taken to Henry ford and her doctor asked what she had been doing when she realized she was having a stroke. The selfie turned out to be important.

Doctors looked at the selfie's time stamp and realized Branch was able to receive the clot-busting drug TPA -- or Tissue plasminogen activator.

"If we give TPA beyond that three hour mark it could be dangerous. It can cause bleeding in the brain and can be life-threatening," Dr. Jason Muir said.

This isn't Branch's first stroke, she had one back in June 2016 so she recognized the symptoms. But she says this one was much worse.

"I've seen people who've waited, and it's too late really," she said.

She's spent the last several weeks in physical and speech therapy for about three hours a day and is going home Thursday. She's reminding everyone to pay attention to their bodies and the signals they're sending.

She also promises that maybe she wont' be as hard on people taking selfies.

"I'm gonna stop making fun of people who take selfie's. Because that selfie literally did save my life."

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