Stroke of Good Fortune
Eric Jordan is laughing. Laughing because he is already back at work after nearly dying in January. Laughing, too, because laughter itself is one of the few after effects of the brain stem stroke he suffered just two months ago. Because it affects basic functions like breathing and is the link between brain and body, strokes in the brain stem are, in a word, catastrophic. Even if the victim survives, there is the possibility of total paralysis or never regaining consciousness. A cruel fate for a 50-year old Masters diver like Eric.
Eric’s hometown of Diamond Springs is a long way from Diamond Head. Yet, he’s an avid “surf historian” who has created the largest archive of recorded interviews with surfing legends and musicians. Eric and his wife, Stephany, have a thriving media production business with high profile clients in the music industry. In late January, Eric had just returned home from his regular health club workout , when he became dizzy and uncoordinated. He dialed his wife and she dialed 911. The ambulance beat her to the house where EMTs were already working on Eric, who was now completely paralyzed, with “locked in syndrome.”
With strokes, there is only a three-hour window during which highly skilled medical intervention can help. When the ambulance pulled up at Rideout Memorial Hospital, Dr. Kulwinder “KJ” Singh, M.D., a specialist in Emergency Medicine for more than 20 years, had an entire team waiting and focused on saving Eric’s life. Stephany describes the coordinated group of critical caregivers as an ‘orchestra’, with Dr. Singh conducting with quiet authority. “We’re on a timeline here, people,” she recalls him saying. “It was clear that he was concerned not only about saving Eric’s life, but about the quality of his life if he survived.”
Dr. Singh worked with Rideout neurologist Dr. Wenchiang Han to administer clot-busting treatments that cleared a third of the blockage immediately, and they alerted an interventional radiologist in Sacramento to perform the delicate surgery required for further improvement. Dr. Singh called Stephany several times to check on Eric’s condition after he left Rideout. “He is so competent and also compassionate,” she said.
Eric went home February 1. On February 19, he walked on his own into Rideout’s Emergency Dept. for a visit with the medical team who brought him back from the brink. When Dr. Singh spotted Eric, Stephany says there were tears -- and laughter -- all around.
The Jordans have nominated Dr. Singh as one of Fremont-Rideout’s Guardian Angels. Their donation in his honor, most fittingly, will help fund the expansion of the Emergency Department where he saved Eric’s life.
From article submitted by Jordan from the Fremont-Rideout Health Group.
National Stroke Association’s mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of stroke by developing compelling education and programs focused on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and support for all impacted by stroke.