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Kam’s Story: Stroke

Kam is a father of four who lives a pretty healthy and active life – he works as an engineer tech, recently adopted a rescue dog, plays basketball every Sunday and regularly goes to the gym.

Yet a few months ago, Kam went to the hospital for an ischemic stroke. The most common kind of stroke, caused by a blood clot blocking a blood vessel in or leading to the brain.

It was a normal day at the gym for Kam. He lifted weights, swam laps with his wife and was in the locker room getting ready to leave when out of the blue he began to feel dizzy. He recognized his initial symptoms as a stroke, managed to get dressed and get out of the locker room.

“I found my wife and told her we need to get to the hospital right away,” remembers Kam. “I felt so weak and when I arrived at the ER, I could hear my words slurring.” Despite their gym being closer to another hospital, Kam instructed his wife to take him to El Camino Health’s Mountain View Hospital (El Camino Hospital) instead.

“I’ve worked at five different hospitals in this area. I know which ones give the best service and I knew I wanted to be taken to El Camino Hospital,” Kam said. “I wanted to make sure that I received the best care that I could.”

Luckily for Kam, he arrived at the emergency room at El Camino Hospital quickly enough to be given tPA, known as the “clot busting” drug. It is designed for patients who have suffered an ischemic stroke. IV tPA is given through an IV in the arm and works by dissolving the blood clot and improving flow to the part of the brain being deprived of blood flow. When promptly administered, IV tPA can significantly reduce the long-term effects of stroke. 

Kam was treated with IV tPA within 27 minutes upon his entrance to the emergency room. Afterwards, he spent two days in the intensive care unit for follow up tests and monitoring.

“Within ten to fifteen minutes after receiving the IV tPA, I started feeling better. I could think clearly again, speak normally. It was like a miracle.”

Kam has a family history of stroke and blood clots but does not know what caused the stroke. He saw Dr. Jenelle Jindal while in the hospital and is continuing to work with Dr. Christine Hessler to determine the underlying cause.

“I knew the whole time that I was at El Camino Hospital that I was in good hands. I anticipated I would make a full recovery and Dr. Hessler and my nurses encouraged me to do just that,” said Kam. 

Today, he has no driving restrictions, does not need any rehabilitation and feels like he is completely back to normal. 

“I definitely feel like I look at life differently now,” says Kam. “I am so blessed to have recognized the symptoms and have been taken quickly to such a good hospital.”