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Doc Talk | Strike Out Stroke

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As May comes to an end, so does National Stroke Month.

Kevin Stout has a new lease on life after suffering from a stroke at just 52 years old. Since none of his lifestyle factors played into his having a stroke, it took doctors some time to figure out what caused it. They wound up finding what could have been a much more serious issue.

Meet Kevin Stout. He’s a 52-year-old runner and pastor who spends much of his time talking to people. He’s not the typical kind of person one expects to have a stroke. But one day in November 2015, “”When I was typing, my thoughts didn’t get from my brain to my fingers and that seemed very weird,” said Stout, of Lewisberry.

He tried explaining that to his wife, but all that came out was gibberish.

“My oldest son luckily said ‘You’re having a stroke,’ and I said ‘Yes!’ and he said, ‘Well then we got to go to the hospital!’ and I said ‘Yeah, I know. I can’t be laying here.’”

It turns out they were right. It was, in fact, a stroke that doctors were able to control very quickly.

“They were able to give him the clot buster TPA, and he was already beginning to improve when they were giving him the TPA,” said Dr. Andreas Wali, an interventional cardiologist with Geisinger Holy Spirit.

“Within an hour, I could speak again,” said Stout.

Test after test, and doctors still couldn’t understand what caused the stroke. After all, Stout was in great health. Then they found it.

“It turned out that he had a hole that he was born with in the top of the heart,” said Dr. Wali.

A month later, Stout had a minimally invasive surgery to close the hole. Stout says finding these holes was a godsend.

“Grateful that since it was a speech one and I’m a pastor and I kind of talk every week for ten to 20, 30 minutes, I need my speech,” said Stout.

In honor of National Stroke Month, Geisinger Holy Spirit will have a clinical team at the Senators game this Friday night at 6:30 for Strike Out Stroke. They’ll be offering free blood pressure checks, stroke education, games and prizes. Kevin Stout will throw the first pitch at the game. More details about the event can be found here: https://events.geisinger.org

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