Swift Action of ER Team Saves Stroke Patient

February 22, 2024

Pierre RodriguezPierre Rodriguez knew something wasn’t right while driving on a Wednesday afternoon in October 2023. It concerned him enough that he pulled over and called 911 for medical help.

“I experienced extreme twitching and spasms in my left eye, then my vision became blurry and I felt lightheaded,” explained Rodriguez, 57, of Royal Palm Beach. That quick decision might have saved his life.

Quick intervention by ER team

Rodriguez arrived at Wellington Regional Medical Center at 4:48 p.m. Within minutes, he received tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a drug that helps to break up a blood clot so normal blood flow can resume. It is used for the emergency treatment of ischemic stroke, which occurs when a blood clot interrupts blood flow to a region of the brain.

“Because Pierre knew the signs and symptoms of stroke, called 911 instead of ignoring it or driving himself to the ER, he saved his own life,” said Dr. Jacob Chachkes, an emergency physician who cared for Rodriguez. “Quick response made all the difference in the outcome.”

Top-notch care and recovery

Rodriguez spent three days in the hospital. Thanks to the stroke team’s fast work, Rodriguez had no neurological damage. He is grateful to all the medical staff at the hospital that cared for him during his stay. “My experience was exceptional,” he said. “The ER staff, the ICU team, all the nurses, doctors, imaging and lab folks were kind, attentive and knowledgeable.”

He added, “When it comes to healthcare, it's all about the people and Wellington Regional has good people. With the right culture and philosophy from leadership and management, great things happen.”

Rodriguez isn’t alone. Wellington Regional Medical Center received a Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification from DNV, reflecting the highest level of accreditation for treatment of serious stroke events.