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24/7 stroke treatment center and quick thinking saves a grandfather’s life

Dan Campbell struggled to open a can of soda at work, but he thought nothing of it. Later that day, he slurred some of his words during a meeting.

He didn’t recognize these signs of a stroke until he passed out.

Rushed by ambulance to Mercyhealth, Campbell was found to have a massive blood clot in his brain. He was immediately taken into surgery, where a Mercyhealth neurointerventional surgeon performed life-saving surgery.

Removing the clot was complicated. The surgeon had to take more passes than he normally would, but the surgery was successful.

“They didn’t give up,” Campbell said. “I’m sitting here because of that.”

Mercyhealth is the region’s leader in stroke treatment and prevention, offering 24/7 treatment at five certified stroke center locations throughout northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. The system’s highly trained stroke team provides comprehensive diagnosis and innovative, life-saving stroke treatment.

The stroke team also works closely with the community to draw awareness to the signs of stroke.

For Campbell, the signs of stroke weren’t immediately apparent. But recognizing the signs right away can save your life or the lives of others.

Use the acronym BE FAST to remember the signs of stroke:

Other signs can include a severe headache or confusion.

Campbell is thankful for the stroke team that helped him regain his independence.

“I’ve been able to enjoy life again,” he said. “I’m here because of what they did. It’s fantastic. They saved my life.”

Campbell remembers one of his appointments with his surgeon shortly after his stroke. Instead of being wheeled in using a wheelchair, he walked in.

“I’ll never forget that my surgeon jumped for joy when he saw I was walking,” he said.

Mercyhealth’s Comprehensive Stroke Center, located at Javon Bea Hospital–Riverside, has the highest level of certification for stroke treatment and rehabilitation. Mercyhealth Hospital and Trauma Center–Janesville is a Primary Stroke Center, and Mercyhealth Hospital and Medical Center–Harvard, Mercyhealth Hospital and Medical Center–Walworth and Javon Bea Hospital–Rockton are Acute Stroke-ready hospitals.

The experienced stroke team uses the most advanced techniques in neurovascular intervention to remove blood clots in the brain. These include catheter-based procedures that can break up or remove stroke-causing clots. The surgeons are highly trained to repair aneurysms and use stents to widen narrowed arteries in the neck and brain.

Mercyhealth’s team of physical, occupational and speech therapists also work with stroke patients both on an inpatient and outpatient basis to help them restore their lives.

“Mercyhealth’s care is like no other,” Campbell said.

Learn more about Mercyhealth’s comprehensive stroke team and certified stroke centers at mercyhealthsystem.org/stroke.