Surviving a Severe Stroke | Mike’s Story

MIKE SACCOMANNO:
Running is my therapy. With working in a stressful job
and with two young kids, running is my way to unwind. On April 5, 2016, I was running
on my treadmill in my house and I collapsed. I didn’t know
what was happening, and I couldn’t speak. I was able to crawl to a bench, and after about 30 minutes,
my wife found me. It wasn’t until
I saw my wife’s face that I realized the severity
of what just happened. – The doctors at Virtua
were able to identify that Mike was having a stroke, and because they appropriately
recognized a stroke and recognized that it was
likely due to a blockage in this middle cerebral artery, one of his major arteries
in the base of the brain, they recommended a treatment
called endovascular thrombectomy which is where we use catheters to manually open up
blocked arteries. And that’s only available
at certain hospitals like at the University
of Pennsylvania. – By the time we got to Penn, and they rolled me
into the emergency room, within 10 minutes,
I was in surgery. I couldn’t believe
how calm I was and then the doctor
looked at me, looked me right in the eyes,
and he said, just count down, you’re going to be fine
when you wake up. It’s amazing
that what I went through, and the stroke that I had,
and the severity of the stroke, that between Virtua
and Penn Medicine, they had me on my feet
and back home and back to work
within six days. – Mike’s case
is a great example of the power
of the Penn Virtua partnership. As a South Jersey native,
he was able to get to Virtua, a hospital
that’s close to his home, it’s his local hospital. They saw him, diagnosed him,
and treated him very rapidly, and then were able to recognize that he needed
more advanced care, and through our partnership, we were able to get him
to Penn very quickly, get that blood vessel open, and get him back home
to South Jersey. – After the stroke,
I’m lucky enough to be able to have
the ability to run, to have the ability to work out. I have a 14-year-old boy
and an 11-year-old boy. To be able to be there
and have catches with them, play baseball with them,
play football with my older son. If it were not
for Virtua and Penn, I would not be able to do the things that I do
with my kids today.

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