Jim’s Story – Coming Back Strong After Stroke

It was an average early spring evening for Jim Rogers and his family, having dinner and enjoying each other’s company. But later into the night, things took a sudden dark turn.

At 2 a.m., Jim’s wife, Michelle, heard him fall in the bathroom. He was suffering from dizziness and severe neck pain. At first, he wasn’t sure what was going on.

He then told Michelle that he was having a stroke. She immediately called 911. After paramedics arrived, Jim had a massive seizure.

“At this point, I’m processing that this isn’t good,” Michelle said.

Even with everything going on, Jim knew exactly where he wanted to receive care—UC Health. Having a medical background himself as a dentist, he understood its reputation nationally for its stroke care.

“When you have a stroke and you have that knowledge base, and you know this hospital is probably the best in the country to treat the problem I’m having … ” Jim said. “I knew wholeheartedly, no matter the fact I was in the middle of having my stroke, I sat up and told the paramedics, ‘No. UC Health!’”

Jim was initially admitted to the neuroscience intensive care unit at the University of Cincinnati Gardner Neuroscience Institute.

“Because his stroke was in the back part of his brain, and sometimes in the back part can be especially dangerous, we had to watch him carefully,” said Dawn O. Kleindorfer, MD, division director of cerebrovascular disease and co-director of the UC Comprehensive Stroke Center.

Jim was in great hands with the specialists in the neuroscience ICU, which included neurointensivists, nurse practitioners and neurology nurses who are specifically trained for the unit.

Those first days after the stroke were very emotional for Jim. One of his biggest fears was not coming back to his two children. But Jim persevered and began to slowly recover.

“I think Jim’s prognosis was impacted by coming to UC Health’s Comprehensive Stroke Center because he was in our neurocritical care unit, which is truly an outstanding place for stroke care,” Dr. Kleindorfer said. “That allowed him to be watched more carefully to make sure he didn’t get into any trouble with his stroke getting worse.”

Jim had a lot to fight for, including his wife, kids and job. Not everyone is able to successfully recover from a stroke, and he remains appreciative of the fact that he has.

“I just try to take full advantage of what I was given,” Jim said.

Jim’s story is part of the “Discover Hope” project. To learn more, visit uchealth.com/discoverhope