KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Kathy Jennings had no idea it was coming.
"I felt amazing that day."
She spent her off day from work running errands and cleaning up around the house.
"I did so much that day. I cleaned, I did the garden, I did the pool," said Jennings.
That's when it started. First, in her arm.
"It tingled at first so I just thought I probably had overdid it that day, kind of blew it off for a minute," she said.
Thinking it would go away, she went inside for some water.
"When I took a drink it ran out of my mouth," she said.
Struck with fear, she had no doubt what was happening.
"I knew it was a stroke," said Jennings.
She ran outside, trying to call for her husband, but no words came out. She couldn't talk, but she knew the importance of time.
"I got there in the nick of time," she said.
Jennings is a nurse, she has been for 20 years. She knew the signs of a stroke, what to look for and what to do, but never knew what it felt like.
She had two more minor strokes in the hospital, but by that time she was in good hands. Doctors credit her quick actions for the full recovery.
"Time is brain. The more time that goes by that you don't initiate treatments, the less likelihood of a good recovery," said Dr. Brian Wiseman, a neurologist at University of Tennessee Medical Center.
She credits knowing what to look for and wants to make sure people know you don't have to be a nurse to know the signs that saved her life.
"I would have blown it off if I would not have known," said Jennings.
She knew, and that's why she's alright. If it happens do it immediately, the faster the better.
Dr. Wiseman says to recognize the signs by using the acronym FAST.
F - Face drooping
A - Arm tingling
S - Slurred speech
T - Timing
If you recognize the signs of a stroke, call 911 immediately.