Lee’s Story

While Eating Breakfast, I Suffered a Debilitating Stroke. Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Showed Up Quickly, Assessed Me and Prepared Me for Transport as a Stroke Alert to Delray Medical Center. At the Hospital, Interventional Neurologist Dr. Dennys Reyes Wasted No Time in Providing Treatment for My Stroke by Accessing the Blood Clot via an Artery in My Leg. The Small Blood Clot Causing My Neurological Disorder Was in My Brain. Dr. Reyes Was Able to Use a Catheterization to Extract the Stroke Causing Clot. Medical Technology Nowadays is Amazing. Dr. Reyes is a Godsend.

I had already gotten up for the day, shaved, made coffee and prepared to eat breakfast as usual when my home health aide, Emma, peeked her head in and said, good morning. I said good morning back to her and asked her to please, grab a cup of coffee. I sat down, began eating my breakfast and started a conversation with her. Out of nowhere, she noticed that my eyes had rolled backward and then, to the side. I could not put my spoon into my mouth while trying to eat breakfast. Then, my right hand started shaking. I could not speak so Emma asked me if I was experiencing any pain to grab her hand and squeeze hard. Apparently, I squeezed her hand rather tightly. She quickly called 911.

When my stroke happened, I went completely blank. I was having a stroke on my left side affecting my right side motor skills. Thank God my home health aide, Emma, at Huntington Lakes where I live in Delray Beach was with me because her quick thinking saved my life. Palm Beach County Fire Rescue showed up quickly, assessed me and prepared me for transport as a stroke alert to Delray Medical Center. At the hospital, interventional neurologist Dr. Dennys Reyes wasted no time in providing treatment for my stroke by accessing the blood clot via an artery in my leg. The small blood clot causing my neurological disorder was in my brain. Dr. Reyes was able to use a catheterization to extract the stroke causing clot. Medical technology nowadays is amazing. Dr. Reyes is a godsend.

A month after I suffered my stroke during my follow-up appointment with Dr. Reyes at his Palm Beach Neuroscience Institute (PBNI) office in Boynton Beach, he took the time to explain thoroughly my ordeal and the care I received.

“We gave you the best technology we have nowadays and you responded really well. We used a mechanical thrombectomy to aspirate the blood clot really quickly,” Dr. Reyes said.

“In Lee’s case, he showed up to the hospital really fast thanks to EMS, and before that, the thinking of the home health aide to call 911 immediately. I think the fact that his body was strong enough for this type of procedure was one of the reasons he did so well. From the time I was able to access his artery and navigate a path for treatment until I pulled the clot out of his brain was just seven minutes. From the time he came in as a stroke alert at Delray Medical Center until we removed the clot took only 46 minutes in total,” said Dr. Reyes.

Up until recently, I walked regularly around my Huntington Lakes community. I spent six days a week working out at the gym in our clubhouse for many years. I guess walking and working out kept me healthy enough to live through a stroke.

“He had a left middle cerebral artery (M1) occlusion and presented with stroke symptoms including paralysis, facial droop and aphasia. His NIH Stroke Scale Score (NIHSS) was 27 when he arrived and higher scores indicate greater severity. He had a NIHSS score of 1 when he was discharged,” said Dr. Reyes.

At 95-years-old, I had my stroke and spent three days in Neurology ICU and two days in a stepdown regular room at Delray Medical Center followed up by rehabilitation on-site at Pinecrest Rehabilitation Hospital located on the same medical campus.

I did not think I would live to the age of 95 because during my professional career I worked with radioactive materials at Columbia University in New York City for 39 years. I started as a tech and worked my way up to a position as an officer of the university almost four decades later. After the stroke, my right side was weaker but during rehabilitation, I was able to work to strengthen my core and regain my coordination. 

Over thirty years ago, my wife Roslyn and I retired to Delray Beach. In my mind, I thought I would probably live just a few more years. My wife ended up passing away the day before Thanksgiving in 2019. We were married 71-years.

It was an amazing marriage. We met on a blind date in 1947 and married in 1948. We were both from Brooklyn, NY. Someone close to us said I treated Roslyn like an empress and it stuck. She was my empress. While I miss Roslyn dearly, I am happy that I received the stroke care from Dr. Reyes and Delray Medical Center. Additionally, I am thankful for my home health aide, Emma, for quickly calling 911 and for EMS and Palm Beach County Fire Rescue transporting me to Delray Medical Center so quickly.

I have a family who really cares about me and we will always be grateful to Dr. Reyes for the treatment he provided to me in saving me from a debilitating stroke.