Portland man shares his story of stroke survival - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland man shares his story of stroke survival

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Harry Metcalf, a Portland area cab driver, still remember just how it happened.

He was driving his cab one day when in-between pick-ups he started feeling not quite right.

Harry pulled his cab over and tried to shake off the feeling, but when his vision went blurred he knew something was very wrong, so he called 911 immediately.

Harry’s wife Sheila said the dispatcher knew exactly what was happening because her husband was slurring his words.Harry was having a stroke, which could have led to a life-threatening blood clot or left him with serious brain damage.

Once Harry was transported to the hospital, the neurologist on-call, who also provides service to multiple hospitals, was able to patch in remotely from her home on a robot to evaluate Harry's symptoms.

The robotic technology allows doctors to do a full neurological exams on patients, look at imaging in real time and records, all from their home or another hospital.

The technology saved 8 minutes of time in caring for harry, and with stroke patients every minute counts.

The neurologist said without Harry’s quick response to his signs the outcome could have been very different for him.

Harry’s story is a great reminder about looking for the F.A.S.T. signs of a stroke.

  • Face drooping
  • Arm weakness
  • Speech difficulty
  • Time to call 911

Other signs that might not be so obvious include trouble seeing, confusion, a sudden and severe headache, and difficulty walking.

The Metcalfs were at Providence St. Vincent Hospital Wednesday and said the experience has given them a whole outlook on life.

“It makes happy that I’m still alive,” Harry said.

“He appreciates life a lot more, we both do,” Sheila added. “Now I see what people are talking about when they talk about when something tragic happens and you come out of it and you just look at the world totally different.”

Harry is a Vietnam veteran, and after his stroke he can't remember chunks of memories from that time in his life.

While Harry looks fine these days, he said he will have to go through physical therapy to continue his healing from this stroke.

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