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"Emergency Medical Services Week" Highlights Stroke Survivors and Awareness
Date:5/16/2012

all hole in the heart called a patent foramen ovale (PFO); her participation is helping identify best treatment for future stroke victims.

Valley Medical Center: Chris Matthews is a healthy and active 44-year-old father and a security guard at Valley Medical Center (VMC).  In December 2011, after several days experiencing symptoms he thought were caffeine withdrawal or a pinched nerve, Matthews felt his left side go numb right before he lost consciousness.  The paramedics rushed him to VMC's emergency department where tests revealed a blood clot in the right side of his brain.  Within 45 minutes of arrival, he received a clot-busting treatment.  Within five hours of treatment, he began to feel the first tingles of movement on his left side.  He was able to go home just four days after his stroke and was approved to return to work full-time in just six weeks.  "If Chris had not been treated at the hospital in time, about 25 percent of his brain would have been affected, likely leaving him severely disabled," says Dr. Don Thai, Matthews' neurologist.  Instead, he is alive and likely will make a complete recovery from his stroke, allowing him to continue his life as an active father and husband.

Virginia Mason Medical Center: In 2011, John Bovee, 67, was driving to work with a terrible headache when he called his office.  The receptionist didn't think he sounded right so she called 9-1-1.  "Within minutes there were too many paramedics with me to count," said Bovee.  He was transported to Virginia Mason Medical Center and treated immediately. "Initially, I couldn't pick up my left leg from my bed, I couldn't swallow, I lost peripheral vision and had the mother of all headaches," Bovee said.  He spent the next two weeks in rehabilitation before being sent home to continue his recovery.  "I am absolutely convinced that I have had the very fortunate outcome that I have ha
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