TMH patient reflects on receiving the Innovative Stroke Treatment 20 years ago
May 23, 2017
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- John Kessler sat in TMH looking through a 20 year old publication. He's is reminded just how precious life can be.
"I was getting ready for work one day...I was in the shower. I felt something strange happening in my head,” said John.
Diane is John's wife, who was a nurse at the time, immediately knew her 43 year old husband was having a brain attack. A stroke.
After John’s initial evaluation. Doctors at the hospital came to the couple with a proposal.
"When I walk in the room, Dr. Locks and Dr. Ayala are saying we may have our first tPA. And I said first?” said Diane.
tPA is short for tissue plasminogen activator. It's an IV drug that dissolves blood clots.
At the time it had only been out for a few months. So john and Diane took made a leap of faith.
"The benefits outweighed the risk,” said Kessler.
John was back at work in under two months. Now, stroke treatments, continue to advance.
"There is a catheter that's introduced from the groin and it goes within the blood vessel, up to the artery in the neck or the brain, where the clot may be. There's no openings required. Alot of time there's no general anesthesia required,” said Dr. Siddharth Sehgal, a TMH Neurology Specialist.
But these treatments are only good within the first few hours of having a stroke.
So it's important to know the signs and think fast.
"Face weakness, arm weakness, or leg weakness, or speech disturbance. Those may be signs of a stroke and those are the extreme importance to call 911 right away,” said Dr. Sehgal.
Because time could be the ultimate life-saver.