Adena Stroke Patient’s Success Story
“I was getting up to use the restroom when I felt my right side go limp,” explained 89-year old patient Wendell Schaller, who had suffered a stroke in February.
“I was able to reach for my cellphone and call my daughter for help. She called 9-1-1 and within minutes an ambulance was here to take me to the emergency room.”
Upon arriving to Adena’s Emergency Department, which is recognized as a Primary Stroke Center, Schaller was given a tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) or more commonly known “clot buster.”
According to the American Stroke Association, tPA is a medication that dissolves blood clots and restores the blood flow to the brain tissue. tPA has been approved to treat brain attacks and ischemic strokes, like Schaller’s, in the first three hours following the onset of symptoms. If given promptly, one-in-three patients who receive tPA resolve their symptoms or have major improvement in their stroke symptoms.
Due to the stroke, Schaller lost mobility in his right arm and leg and had symptoms of facial droop and speech impairment.By acting fast, Schaller qualified for the clot buster treatment in which he says “saved his life.”
“The clot buster saved my life in more ways than one,” he said. “Not only am I alive today, I am able to do all the things I was doing before the stroke.”
In just three short months, with minor homecare therapy and rehab, Schaller now has all feeling back in his right side and is able to walk, cook and even drive again. He is also able to continue to care for his wife Ruth, and play bridge with his friends every Sunday night.
Adena Regional Medical Center is certified as a Primary Stroke Center and has an established protocol that provides best results for patients to greatly reduce chances of disability. As a Primary Stroke Center,hospitals must demonstrate compliance with stroke-related standards and meet additional requirements, including those related to advanced imaging capabilities, 24/7 availability of specialized treatments, and providing staff with the unique education and competencies to care for complex stroke patients.
Led by Dr. Akhtar, Adena’s Stroke Team has seen its tPA treatments triple since first being named a Primary Stroke Center in 2014.