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Telestroke Aids in Pastor’s Miraculous Recovery

June 13, 2019 - Posted in Telehealth by Julia Shillinglaw

Pastor Tommy Cox of Georgetown, S.C., was admitted to Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital following severe chest pains. After the hospital team ruled out a heart attack, the Cox family thought that things were looking better. However, after an endoscopy procedure, Pastor Cox started acting abnormal. His wife, Ginny, was the first to notice that her husband was unable to form words. She immedidately alerted a nurse who issued a stroke alert. 

Following the alert, the Tidelands team jumped into action, including the head nurse, Kristen Wall. She connected via telehealth with Dr. Christine Holmstedt of MUSC, a specialist in stroke care. Dr. Holmstedt was able to assist the hospital staff in evaluating the patient, and decided that he was a candidate for tPA, a clot busting drug

After Pastor Cox was given the tPA shot, it was only a matter of minutes before he began to regain his speech. The whole room of doctors, nurses, and his family in the hall erupted in cheers as they heard him repeat the quote "you can't teach an old dog new tricks." It was a couple of days later that Pastor Cox was able to leave the hospital. 

Now he is back to normal and credits three for his recovery: the Tidelands hospital team, his MUSC Telestroke doctor, and Jesus Christ. He hopes that his experience will educate people to be more aware of the symptoms of a stroke, and will also inform people that programs like Tele-stroke exists where local hospitals can have access to expert stroke care within minutes. 

"We didn't have a neurologist in Georgetown, but we were able to use her (Dr. Holmstedt), and it worked out wonderfully," Pastor Cox said. His nurse Kristen Wall went on to say that "Having a neurologist a phone call away is like life and death," and said if Cox hadn't had that option, his "outcome could have been totally different." 

"There’s many people that never had the choice that I did, and I thank God that I made that choice to get the shot and to believe in the Master, that he would take care of me," says Pastor Tommy Cox

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