Randall Wishart collapsed with a severe stroke while working on a scissor lift at his Peisley Street workplace.
Thanks to life saving and life changing software installed in CT scanners at Orange hospital this year he was diagnosed, rushed to Sydney for blood clot removal and is now nearly fully recovered.
Had it happened a few months earlier doctors said he would now be paralysed down his right hand side and be confined to a nursing home.
“I just happened to feel a bit giddy and that was it. I grabbed the rails of the scissor lift and I don’t know much about it then,” Mr Wishart said.
He said he was fortunate the technology was available when he suffered the stroke on April 30.
“It just affected my speech, lucky I didn’t get anything else,” he said.
Stroke director and neurologist at Orange hospital Dr Rami Haddad said Orange, Bathurst and Dubbo hospitals had been able to introduce the new technology almost as soon as it was approved for worldwide use.
He said the software enables stroke radiology teams to identify both brain tissue that is irreversibly damaged by a blood clot and brain tissue that could be saved if the clot was removed.
“This capability helps us identify suitable patients for mechanical clot removal,” he said.
Dr Haddad said six patients had been rushed from Orange to Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital this year for the operation and most had been successfully treated.
He said previously doctors had only a six hour window from the onset of the stroke to treat people, but now they had up to 24 hours to work with selected patients.
“The medical evidence behind this therapy was lacking before,” he said.
If you have stroke symptoms every minute counts for us.Dr Rami Haddad
He said there was now a one-in-three chance of recovery.
“One-in-three patients is an excellent outcome. It is for us an amazing number,” he said.
“If you have stroke symptoms every minute counts for us. You need to contact the hospital as soon as possible.”
Stroke Care Co-ordinator for Orange and Bathurst Health Services Fiona Ryan said they were keeping up with the latest developments.
READ MORE: Orange's cath lab moves to five days a week
“To date Orange hospital has sent six patients to RPAH for clot retrieval compared to no patients last year. In Bathurst 12 patients have been sent to RPAH compared to five last year,” she said.
She said the best advice for stroke prevention was to keep healthy, quit smoking, exercise regularly, eat healthy, limit alcohol and see your doctor regularly.
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