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Ezaldeen's Story

Jun 6, 2019

Ezaldeen credits the doctors and nurses with saving his life

Ezaldeen Abushanab, a stroke patient at Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett

stroke survivorEzaldeen Abushanab had never felt so tired in his life. Yet, not wanting to miss work, he got in his car and drove to the office anyway. By the time he arrived, he was dazed, confused and hungry. Ezaldeen, who is diabetic, assumed his blood sugar was low. Thinking that getting some food in his stomach would make him feel better, he turned his car around, hitting a coworker’s car in the process, and drove to a nearby restaurant.

“I’m not sure how I made it to the restaurant and back,” Ezaldeen says. “I was so weak and groggy by that point. I knew I wasn’t driving right, yet I had no idea what was going on. I could barely feel my hands to open the car door.”

Ezaldeen somehow managed to make it back to the office safely, but he was far from being out of danger.

“When I got back to work, my supervisor took one look at me and called 911,” Ezaldeen says. “They told me I was also drooling and mumbling, but I didn’t realize any of this. All I remember is that I was too tired to even stand up while we waited for the ambulance.”

He Didn’t Think it Could Happen to Him

Ezaldeen knew he was in bad shape, but he never imagined he was having a stroke.

“I’m only 52 years old,” he says. “I didn’t think strokes could happen to younger people. It never occurred to me that it could happen at any age."

Ezaldeen says once he arrived at Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett, things moved very quickly. That’s because when it comes to treating stroke, timing is critical. Ezaldeen says an MRI revealed he had a blood clot in his brain. He was treated with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a powerful drug that, if administered within three-and-a-half hours of the onset of stroke symptoms, can dissolve certain blood clots. Ezaldeen arrived at Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett just in time.

“The doctors told me that if hadn’t arrived when I did, I’d probably be paralyzed,” he says. “I also could have fallen down and hit my head and hurt myself. There are so many things that could have gone wrong.”

Ezaldeen spent two days in Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett ’s intensive care unit. Now home, Ezaldeen is symptom-free and back to his normal routine. He credits the doctors and nurses at Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett with saving his life.

“I’m very happy with the service I received,” he says. “All of the doctors and nurses were very kind and took excellent care of me. Even food service was great. They saved my life.”