PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – Nearly 800,000 Americans have a stroke every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Many of those patients can benefit from a life-saving procedure used for the most common form of stroke.
Daniel Stueber, 64 of Sunrise, became one of those people in the fall of 2022.
Although he smoked for years, Stueber had always been in good health and never considered that the habit doubled the risk of having a stroke.
“It was just a habit, a very strong habit that I kept doing,” he said.
Then, on October 4, 2022, came a moment while Stueber was enjoying his morning coffee and cigarette.
“About halfway through the cigarette, all of a sudden my arm wouldn’t come up anymore,” he said.
A few minutes later Stueber was rushed to the hospital after suffering from an ischemic stroke which meant blood flow to his brain was blocked.
Specialists at Memorial Neuroscience Institute performed a procedure called Endovascular Thrombectomy or E.V.T.
“It’s the procedure that allows us to remove the blood clot that is causing the stroke in the brain,” said neurointerventional surgeon Dr. Norman Ajiboye, who is the Medical Director of the Institute.
He said expediency and experience are vital in successfully performing E.V.T.
“To put things in perspective, every time you have a stroke and every minute that passes by without opening up the vessel, 1.9 million brain cells die. Time is brain, and time lost is brain lost,” Ajiboye said.
Fortunately, Stueber has had no lasting effects from his stroke, and needless to say, he hasn’t smoked a cigarette since.
“I just thank God I hit the right doctor at the right hospital at the right time and it’s just amazing,” he said.
According to current data, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the leading cause of disability.
Ajiboye said unfortunately as many as one in five patients arrive at the hospital too late for treatment that could prevent the chance of death or disability from stroke.