Stroke patient, doctor urge others to seek medical help

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ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States suffers a stroke, and every four minutes, someone dies from it. On Thursday, which is World Stroke Day, one local patient and his doctor are reminding folks to listen to their bodies if something is wrong.

When you watch professional jump roper Shane Douglass, you’d think he’s in the greatest shape of his life, but he’s still recovering from a stroke he had two years ago.

“I walked into the house, and collapsed, and laid there for about an hour…then the neighbor girl found me,” he said.

His neighbor called 911. While in the ambulance, Douglass became paralyzed on his left side. Dr. Cynthia Kenmuir did his procedure. After 15 minutes, Douglass got feeling back in his body.

“It happened so fast, and he was found very quickly just an hour after the stroke started that restoring the flow that quickly, he was able to start moving that side of his body on the table,” Dr. Kenmuir said.

In UPMC Altoona’s Stroke and Trauma Center, the angiosuite has X-ray machines that photograph from top to bottom and left to right of the patient’s brain, so Dr. Kenmuir can find exactly where the clot is.

Douglass, now back swinging that jump rope, had symptoms years before his stroke. He wants others to not ignore them like he did.

“I would pretty much say I’d go get checked because I’m the last guy to go in, and I was in there, so I would go,” he said.

There’s a way folks can remember stroke symptoms, just think of fast. Face. Arm. Speech. Time. The more you know, the better chance of getting the help you need.

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