As Tracy Turner was enjoying coffee and conversation with friends, his demeanor suddenly changed.
“It was like being in a dream, in another world, a different alternate reality or something," he said. "I had no idea what was happening to my brain or my body really.”
Tracy stopped talking and could not move the right side of his body.
“These guys were talking to me and I could not speak back to them," he explained.
Tracy's friends immediately recognized that Tracy was experiencing the signs of stroke and called 911.
“Each minute during a stroke we lose approximately two million brain cells, so it is quite significant," explained Biraj Patel, M.D., Carilion Clinic neurointerventional radiologist. "The goal of treatment is to improve functional outcome.”
An angiogram showed Dr. Patel and his team the blockage in Tracy’s brain that needed to be removed. Dr. Patel used an endovascular treatment called a mechanical embolectomy to remove the clot. Tracy's condition immediately improved and blood flow returned to normal in his brain.
"When we have an outcome like Mr. Turner’s, there is a big sigh of relief,” Dr. Patel said.
Tracy takes a blood thinner twice a day now. Doctors determined an irregular heart beat is what lead to the clot that caused his stroke, but thanks to the quick action of his friends and Carilion's staff, he is now looking forward to his next trip to the Outer Banks, one of his favorite places to relax and reflect.
"It is going to be my first time on the Outer Banks in my sail boat since I had the stroke," he noted. "This was meant to be a time to reflect on why I am still alive.”