Pelham bank employees save Helena man following stroke

Published 11:29 am Wednesday, October 6, 2021

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By MICHELLE LOVE | Staff Writer

On Wednesday, Sept. 8, the quick action of two BBVA USA (now part of PNC) employees saved the life of Helena resident Rob Holston.

Holston suffered a stroke while conducting business inside the Pelham bank, and Financial Sales Consultant Howard Taylor and Branch Retail Executive Patrick Wadsworth saved his life.

Holston entered the bank to take care of some financial business due to the passing of his wife, Jane Holston, who died from COVID-19 one week prior. Holston himself was recovering from a bad fight with COVID-19, so his feeling of fatigue did not strike him as odd that particular Wednesday.

“I was seated in the bank talking with Howard Taylor concerning our accounts as I tried to access my phone to provide Mr. Taylor with information he needed,” Holston explained. “I tried to swipe my phone, and it fell out of my hand.  I attempted to pick the phone up several times but could not. I then slumped over toward the desk. Mr. Howard said, ‘Mr. Holston, I think you are having a problem.’”

To Holston’s recollection, Taylor directed someone to call 911, and never left Holston’s side.

“He put his hand on my shoulder and told me not to stand up,” recalled Holston. “Mr. Wadsworth came out of his office and was with me also. They were very calm but quickly responded to the situation.”

Police and paramedics arrived minutes later, and Holston was then transferred to Brookwood Medical Center, where he said he received excellent care. Holston said if Taylor and Wadsworth had not acted the way they had, he would not be here.

“Their calm, quick response saved my life,” Holston said.

“Taking quick action is key in any medical situation,” Taylor said. “I’m grateful that instinct and training took over, allowing Patrick and me to help Mr. Holston in a timely manner. We were focused on doing our best to make sure Mr. Holston had the best possible outcome, and I couldn’t be happier to know this was the case.”

“We’re here to make a difference for our customers and our communities, and there’s no better example of all the ways our team does it than this,” Wadsworth said. “Knowing that the relationships we have with our customers and the priority we place on them led to a positive outcome for Mr. Holston is the best possible validation for why we do what we do.”

Holston’s stroke was caused by a COVID-19-related blood clot on the brain, and while at the hospital he received a “clot busting drug.” Holston said his stroke resulted in slight facial paralysis on the left side of his face, but with proper rehabilitation it will resolve.

“I have good strength in my arms and legs, paralysis did not affect them,” Holston said. “They gave me the clot buster, and saved me from more serious effects of the stroke.”

Holston said he is tired but recovering, and he’s grateful for all of the support he has received.

“My neighbors, family and friends have been wonderful,” he said. “I have even been back to the bank, thanked everyone and complete my business.”