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Clock ticks for stroke patients

Every minute matters for a person suffering a stroke. One local man had the best possible outcome because of rapid response and life-saving medication. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

Every minute matters for a person suffering a stroke.

One local man had the best possible outcome because of rapid response and life-saving medication.

Things didn't look so good for 66-year-old Reid Tessler six weeks ago.

"I woke up with a strange feeling," recalled Tessler. "It alerted me to go to the bathroom and look at myself in the mirror, and I saw my face drooping."

A scan taken after EMS brought Reid to Pardee Hospital confirmed a stroke.

He received care well within the 2 1/2 hour window for a medication called TPA.

"Basically, it accelerates the body's natural way of breaking down a blood clot," said Dr. Joel Callahan, a neurologist.

Tessler added, "Within 45 minutes, I was able to put a few words together very slowly, very deliberately, but the sentences started coming back."

And over the next day or so, so did everything else.

Tessler has no paralysis, no speech problems, no trouble following directions.

"His case is the gold standard," said Callahan. "The way that he responded and the treatment that he got is the goal for every patient."

It's proof that complete recovery from a stroke is possible with rapid recognition, equally fast medical attention, and intervention.

Doctors say Tessler's stroke stemmed from an existing heart issue.

He is now on a blood thinner that should prevent a clot--and another stroke.

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