Unemployed due to disability from a previous stroke, estranged from his family, and plagued by worsening blurring of vision on his left eye, Jose de Jesus, aged 62, was in line at the PGH Ophthalmology clinic seeking treatment for his condition when he was suddenly struck by something terrifying – the left half of his face started to droop, his speech slurred as he struggled to speak, and his left arm and leg became floppy and immobile. It was a stroke. In what could have only been construed as a race against time, Mr. de Jesus was immediately rushed to the PGH ER, where the emergency medicine team lit the Brain Attack Team signal, spurring the Neurology service into action.
Wasting as little time as possible, the team quickly yet thoroughly examined Mr. de Jesus and whisked him away to have a CT scan done – lo and behold, the results allowed for the team to give Mr. de Jesus rTPA, a drug that has been shown to be able to lyse the blood clot in his brain and even reverse the symptoms of stroke, and one which could not have been given as readily and speedily had it not been for the efforts of the Let’s Save the Brain Foundation.
Within a mere few hours after rTPA was given, Mr. De Jesus’ motor strength recovered and his speech became much clearer. The following day, only a mere hint of facial weakness remained from what had initially appeared to be nigh-permanent disability. It was like magic. Needless to say, he was immensely happy and grateful, and for more reasons than one: after years of being stuck in a familial and social rut, he was finally being cared for. With the help of the Let’s Save the Brain Foundation, Mr. de Jesus had surpassed what could have been the end of his [normal] life as he knew it.