“Time Is Everything”: 27-Year-Old Makes Full Recovery From Stroke, Thanks to Quick Action by Doctors
Like many people his age, Robert Taunton enjoys an active lifestyle. When the 27-year-old is not working as a project manager for a general contractor, he enjoys dirt biking, Jet Skiing and tinkering with cars at his El Sobrante, Calif., home.
But just a few months ago, he survived a stroke.
He remembers being at work that day and not being able to understand his colleague, then discovering that he couldn’t speak himself. He also had difficulty moving his right side.
Taunton was taken by ambulance to the Kaiser Permanente Richmond Medical Center, where he was quickly given the clot-busting drug tPA, then transferred to the Kaiser Permanente Redwood City Medical Center to have an undissolved bloot clot removed from his brain.
“I didn’t know how fast my care needed to be, but I was really happy when I could talk and move my arm and leg again,” he said, recalling the “insane” speed with which he was treated.
Taunton benefitted from a unique protocol, called Stroke Express, established at all 21 Kaiser Permanente Northern California medical centers. This protocol enables physicians to rapidly diagnose strokes and administer medications quickly.
“At Kaiser Permanente Northern California, we get the neurologist involved from the moment the patient arrives in emergency, and everyone on the team has a clearly defined role,” said Jeff Klingman, MD, chair of the chiefs of neurology. “Because of this system, Robert was treated with tPA within 20 minutes of arrival, whereas the national average is over an hour.”
Taunton was back to work a month after his stroke, and boating and dirt biking with his friends shortly afterward.
“I am so very thankful for what everybody did to orchestrate my care so quickly,” he said.