Special Report: Life Interrupted, Rick's Stroke - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Special Report: Life Interrupted, Rick's Stroke

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Johnson County Dispatcher------" 911 can I have the address of your emergency?"

On that Sunday morning just six days past my 54th birthday... I woke up at my fiancé Jennifer's house in Coralville.

I could not move my right arm or right leg.


(911 CALL) Johnson County Dispather "Tell me what exactly what happened?"

Jennifer "My Fiance woke up in the middle of the night he can't feel his right arm or right hand or anything.

.he's freaking out I don't know if he is having a stroke..

" "

Johnson County Emergency Dispatch sent an ambulance and I was taken to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

It was there Neurologist Dr. Enrique Leira confirmed my condition..

Dr. Leira "I remember you had symptoms of a stroke. You couldn't talk right and eventually the problem was recognized in that you had a stroke in what we call the posterior cerebral artery or the back of the brain."

I had suffered an Ischemic Stroke from a blood clot in the back of my brain.. I spent two days in the U of I Hospital's stroke clinic.

I was fortunate in that my stroke was not severe and my condition was not permanently debilitating, but It was still frightening.

Dr. Leira "It had to be a really scary experience from your end because obviously for you It was not a mild problem It was a big change. But compared with all strokes -yours was relatively mild-the smaller the damage in the brain the better the chances for long term recovery.."

My stroke is called Cryptogenic because The exact cause of the stroke is still a mystery. But high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels definitely played a part.

Dr. Leira "We all are busy and we tend to take care of things that hurt and high blood pressure doesn't hurt....It damages the arteries the arterial pipes gradually and one of the consequences of that could be a stroke.."

The right combination of events converged to cause my stroke. Dr. Leira says Blood Pressure Control, controlling blood sugar, weight control and excercise can reduce the chances of a stroke occurring. But not completely.

Dr. Leira "A stroke can happen to everybody. It is important to recognize the symptoms and signs of a stroke so if it happens to someone next to us or a family member of ours we can get help as soon as possible.

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