John Hetherington, 53, of Lincoln University, Pa., is proof of the progress that has been made in stroke recovery. One Saturday in late March, he was showering, getting ready to go to his job as a marine technician, when he suddenly found himself leaning on one side of the shower.
“I thought, ‘I should sit before I fall,’’’ Hetherington says. He called to his wife, who saw that he couldn’t move his left side and told their daughter to summon an ambulance.
At Christiana Hospital, tests showed Hetherington had a right internal carotid artery occlusion, which blocked blood flow to the right side of his brain.
“It’s amazing I’m walking and talking,’’ he says. “I’m working. I went in on a Saturday, came home Thursday and was mowing grass on Friday.’’
Hetherington didn’t know he was at a risk for stroke – he hadn’t seen a doctor in years. But the brush with mortality has changed his life. He stopped smoking, monitors the fat and cholesterol in his diet, takes his medicine and no longer avoids his doctor.
“I’m pretty grateful to be here,’’ he says, crediting Christiana Care with saving his life. “Sometimes I get a little choked up talking about it.’’