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Patient Story – Gord Adams

Patient Story – Gord Adams


Time  is  Everything

Gord Adams, a resident of Ridgetown, credits quick action, a CT scan and a clot-busting drug with saving him, after suffering a stroke in September 2013. “I was on the computer and all of a sudden for no reason at all, no pain, no lead up to it or anything else…I collapsed off my chair and was down on the floor. I had absolutely no use of my left side, left arm or left leg,” said Gord.

Gord couldn’t quite comprehend what was happening as he tried to pick himself up. He called his wife Joan who quickly came to his aid. “His speech was slurred and his arm was lying funnily behind him. When I picked up his arm, I don’t think he felt me picking it up,” recalled Joan. 

Joan immediately dialed 911 and the ambulance arrived, bringing Gord to CKHA’s Emergency Department (ED). During the trip to the hospital, his symptoms began to resolve, some feeling in the left side of his body returned as well as his speech. “I got to the hospital and I was attended to right away in the ED by medical staff. I was taken down for a CT scan within a reasonable length of time,” said Gord.

While Gord awaited his results, he recalls Joan entering the room to see him. After speaking with his wife, it was noticed that his speech began to slur again. “During the course of talking to her, all of a sudden the feeling that I got back in my leg and arm started to go on me again,” said Gord. Dr. Entisar Ben Issa attended to Gord and confirmed that he was having an ischemic stroke on the right side of his brain caused by lack of blood flow. “She was looking at my reports that came back from the CT scan and she identified the fact that the type of stroke I was having, was conducive to receiving the clot-busting drug,” said Gord.

Shortly after, Gord received tPA (tissue plasminogen activator), a clot-busting drug that can reduce the severity of a stroke.  When tPA is administered promptly, the patient can resolve their stroke symptoms or have a major improvement in their symptoms. “Within a few minutes I was starting to get the feeling back in my left side. I could wiggle my fingers and I could raise my leg,” recalled Gord.

Diagnostic tests, such as the CT scan, can identify what type of stroke a patient is having, which is important to diagnose the patient and determine treatment. When treatment is administered promptly, a patient will have a more positive outcome. “It was the CT scan that indicated to the doctor that I was having a blockage as opposed to a bleeding-type (hemorrhagic) stroke,” said Gord.

“Yes, the doctor did say the only reason you were a candidate was because she could see what type of blockage it was. In other words, she wouldn’t have been able to do that (administer tPA) unless she could see what type of stroke it was,” added Joan. 

The presence of Dr. Ben Issa during Gord’s time in the ED was reassuring to him, “She was a calming influence and just made me feel that much more comfortable.”

Receiving the clot-busting drug improved Gord’s condition drastically in such a short amount of time that he required minimum rehabilitation afterwards. Follow-up tests of an MRI and ultrasound were performed before he was discharged from the hospital. “I was fortunate enough to be able to walk out on my own and go home without too many after-effects,” said Gord.

Joan noticed that staff were attentive and compassionate during her time spent at CKHA with Gord. “They took note of every single little thing that was going on with him in that room and you’re aware of that as you’re looking at the staff that are coming in. Now a patient might not be, but that visitor or that family member is aware. When they came in to check on him, they were saying the reason why they were doing it too – which is important.”

Joan added, “I think the staff at the hospital are very good, not just friendly, but they stop and listen to you. If you had any concerns they would ask, ‘Are you worried about anything?’”

Gord reflected on his experience at CKHA, “I was a very fortunate individual to have the ambulance, the Emergency Room, the CT scan and the clot-busting drug, or it would have been a very different scenario.”

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