Endovascular treatment helps save more lives in the Valley

News Center 23

POSTED: Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 3:55pm

UPDATED: Friday, June 28, 2013 - 7:19am

Former Valley Baptist supply supervisor, Ron Nelson, suffered a sudden stroke on January 18th while he was working. He'll never forget the feeling.

“I was just laying on the floor and all the people from upstairs came along to see what happened and they realized right away that I’d had a stroke, and then they called the people from emergency and they came down and took me up. Then I went up to the emergency room and they took me up into the cath lab.”

“Just 18 minutes after Ron Nelson collapsed, Dr. Ameer Hassan was inside this cath lab performing an endovascular stroke procedure on Nelson. Nelson says that if it weren’t for Dr. Hassan, he probably wouldn’t be here today.”

"He’s got to be the best. As I say, I owe him my life. I get very emotional sometimes so…”

Endovascular procedure gives doctors more time to prevent the often devastating and potentially fatal effects of stroke. That time window is expanded by quickly clearing blockages in the blood vessels leading to a patient's brain. This treatment is now available in the Valley for the first time. Before, patients had to be moved to San Antonio or Houston...time consuming and risky options.

After undoing in-patient and out-patient therapy, Nelson is improving every day and his future looks bright. And for Dr. Hassan, that's what it's all about.

"The key differentiator, probably, is the need for this kind of research. Uh, there isn’t much research in the development of protocols or, or changing of the current paradigm to get patients faster to the cath lab, so I think it was very important because we had significant improvement in outcome. Whether it’s decreased death, improved good outcomes, fully functional patients, or decreased bleeding in the brain, which are all measures of outcomes. So across the board we had much better outcomes with our new treatment methods."

Reporting in Harlingen, Marty Watson, KVEO News Center 23.

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