World-Class Stroke Research Saves a Life – Three Times!
Fighting fit for all his life, 86-year-old Alan Cooper has suffered three strokes in the last four years, with the most recent one only a few short months ago.
“All three times, I couldn’t move, stand up or speak. It’s a terrible feeling,” Alan said.
“When I had my first stroke I had an electrician at my home doing some work, I was laying down in my bed and couldn’t get up. I knew he was about to leave so I fell off the bed and tried to get to the door, just managing to open it so he could call the ambulance.
“The second time I was preparing food in the kitchen for some friends who were coming over and I collapsed. I had to drag myself into the lounge room so I was within sight and my friends could see me. The last stroke a few short months ago I was gardening and luckily one of my family members found me.”
The good news is, Alan is here today thanks to world-class research making incredible advances in the treatment and care of stroke patients. This is why Cure for Stroke Australia is dedicated to funding vital research to improve treatments and find a cure for stroke for people like Alan.
On each occasion Alan was rushed to the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) where he was immediately seen by the stroke team, led by Head of Stroke Associate Professor Tim Kleinig.
Whilst treated for all three strokes with thrombolysis, a procedure to dissolve the blood clot, during his last stroke in December 2017 Alan was also involved in a clinical trial testing an advanced clot busting drug. The most common form of stroke is caused by a clot blocking a vessel, but not all clots dissolve with the current approved medication. This trial is testing a newer medication which researchers hope will be more effective at unblocking arteries, while lessening the risk of bleeding into the brain (a rare but important side-effect of these treatments).
This is only one of many clinical trials the world-class stroke team have underway at the RAH’s Clinical Trial Centre, which we are so proud to support.
Now with the support of Cure for Stroke Australia, A/Prof Kleinig and his team are thrilled to continue their groundbreaking research in the hopes of saving more lives like Alan’s.
“Alan is a walking testament to modern stroke medicine and the power of research to improve patient treatments and outcomes,” A/Prof Kleinig said.
Whilst Alan has suffered permanent damage from his strokes, including losing function in his right hand that makes it difficult to write and damage to his vocal cord, he is incredibly grateful to A/Prof Kleinig and the expert team for not only saving his life, but also giving him a quality of life.
“It’s quite miraculous how they treat strokes now. They told me in the hospital that a third of my brain was affected by my last stroke so if they hadn’t got to it quickly I would have been a vegetable,” Alan said.
“I consider myself very lucky.”