Neurointerventional surgeon, Daniel Gibson, MD, was checking out at his local grocery store when he received a notification on his smartwatch alerting him that a patient experiencing a stroke had arrived to be treated at the hospital.
The patient was 66 year old Bernie. Bernie was at home doing dishes, when he kept dropping them. As he attempted to pick up the pieces, they kept falling from his hands. Hearing the noise, Bernie’s wife, Beth, came inside to see what was going on. She had him take a seat, and that’s when Bernie began to notice that his leg wasn’t moving and his vision became blurry. A few minutes later, Bernie was on the floor and could not speak.
Advanced stroke care, when you need it most
Bernie remembers his ride to Ascension Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Milwaukee. He had an entire team working together to deliver life-saving care. “I wouldn’t be talking to you right now if I hadn’t come here. I was the luckiest man in the world that day,” Bernie said.
As soon as he got to the hospital, Bernie had imaging done with a neurointerventional biplane, one of the most advanced diagnostic tools for stroke. This minimally invasive test uses x-rays and contrast material to create a roadmap of the blood vessels in the brain. Once this test was completed, Dr. Gibson performed a quick thrombectomy, removing the blood clot and restoring blood flow in as little as 5 minutes.
Compassionate, supportive care teams
Beth recalls the difficult time she had while her husband was in the intensive care unit (ICU) and how small acts of kindness went a long way.
“I had to drop things off for Bernie in the ICU and it was an emotional time. I was in the wrong parking lot, carrying a heavy bag through the stairwell trying to bring him his things,” Beth recalled.
An Ascension associate approached Beth offering to help carry the bag and guided her to the ICU. Beth remembers coming back to her car and starting to cry.
“I just needed someone to be nice,” she said.
Bernie and Beth both shared that during this stressful situation, it was the compassionate care they received that got them through each day.
“Dr. Gibson, his nurse, Katie, and the entire care team were great. When they say they will call, they do. They were very caring during an incredibly stressful situation. Dr. Gibson called me immediately after the procedure with information,” Beth recalls.
Bernie, who is a chiropractor, is now back to work and doing what he loves. When asked how he is feeling, he mentioned that he is doing well and is trying to heal the best he can. He is practicing yoga, going for walks and was even able to enjoy golf this past summer.
“Dr. Gibson and his team not only saved my life, but they preserved the quality of my life with their responsive expertise. I am grateful,” Bernie said.
If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of a stroke such as sudden loss of balance, lost or unclear vision, face drooping or uneven smile, arm weakness, and speech difficulty, go to the nearest emergency room or call 911.