Doug's Story: Stroke Survivor

007-dougIt was a weekday evening like any other when a friendly customer service representative named Doug became the ultimate customer. His need? Stroke services, A to Z.

Doug, a self-described overweight former smoker with high blood pressure and diabetes, was trying out a new exercise routine in his living room when, at 5:25 p.m., his risk factors for stroke reached a tipping point. Doug’s head began to hurt, his face began to droop, and as he tried to walk to another room, he heard himself mumble, “I’m going down.” Before he hit the floor, his stroke-savvy adult daughter had dialed 911. Paramedics arrived and whisked Doug to West Chester Hospital, where he found himself paralyzed on his left side. Physicians, moving quickly and in accordance with research pioneered at the UC Comprehensive Stroke Center, determined that Doug’s type of stroke made him a candidate for the clot-busting drug tPA.

Doug got the drug within 2 hours of his stroke’s onset, well within the 3- to 4 ½-hour window of the drug’s effectiveness. Paramedics transported Doug to University of Cincinnati Medical Center for further testing and, by midnight, he was undergoing surgery for a total blockage of his right carotid artery. The surgeon cleaned out the artery, then sealed the wound with glue, leaving Doug with a 7-inch scar on his neck and no stitches. Soon, Doug was squeezing fingers, following commands and walking down the hallway outside his room.

He was soon discharged. “I came home and had pizza,” Doug says. “I do think it’s a miracle. No one can believe it.” Five days after suffering a major stroke, Doug was back at work, cheerfully helping dozens of customers with the nuances of industrial products like hand wrenches, power tools and safety gloves. Now that’s service.

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