By Jonna Rae Bartges
It’s 10 p.m. in rural Rutherford County, and a frantic husband rushes his dazed wife into the hospital emergency room. The ER doctor thinks it’s a stroke, and every second is crucial. A neurologist at Mission Hospital in Asheville is 60 miles away on winding mountain roads. Thanks to Mission’s Telestroke Program, the neurologist can instantly see the stricken woman, confer with the ER doctor, and prescribe immediate therapy. By the time an ambulance delivers the patient to Mission’s ER, the woman has already received a life-saving two hours of treatment.