Typically, when a person is diagnosed with a subdural hematoma, it results from a head injury followed by a fall or accident. That wasn’t the case for Anita Farley, founder of the Georgia Ensemble Theater of Roswell.

In November 2022, while walking her dog on his leash, Anita fell to the ground when her dog abruptly chased another dog. Anita suffered a few scrapes and bruises, but since she didn’t hit her head, she wasn’t alarmed.

In the following weeks, she noticed her energy level was low and felt tired a lot, but she blew it off as a side effect of aging.  It wasn’t until a few weeks later when she was on stage at her theater giving an opening speech that the magnitude of her symptoms was on full display. When she couldn’t remember what she was supposed to say, she made a joke about getting older and exited the stage. Anita was met backstage by a member of her board of directors who was sitting in the audience when she lost her train of thought. He believed she was having a stroke and encouraged her to see a doctor. She immediately left the theater and rushed Wellstar North Fulton Medical Center, a Level II Trauma Center and Joint Commission Comprehensive Stroke Center.

Upon arrival, the team ran several tests, and a neurologist discovered a brain bleed caused by a subdural hematoma. Anita underwent surgery early the next morning. Two days later, she was home recovering.

While it’s uncommon to suffer a subdural hematoma without a direct head injury, certain groups of people are at higher risk, including babies and older adults like Anita. She initially attributed her symptoms to aging, Anita knows better now. “As you get older you have to treat your body differently than you do when you’re younger. You have to get it checked out,” Anita said.

Anita is fortunate her colleague urged her to see a doctor and that she had access to the expert neuro care at Wellstar North Fulton, supported by philanthropic support from Wellstar Foundation and nationally recognized for its high level of neurocritical care with Beacon Awards for Excellence by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

Anita is grateful for the expert care she received, “What a jewel people have in Wellstar North Fulton,” she said.

If you hit your head, get checked out. Wellstar, Georgia’s leading provider for stroke and aneurysm services, houses expert neurologists specializing in brain, spine and nervous system conditions.  Learn more about our world-class neuro care.

If you’d like to support neuro care, you can make a one-time donation or become a monthly supporter. You can even designate where you’d like your funds to go, investing in the causes and areas that are most important to you. To give, visit foundation.wellstar.org/give-now.