Your Health Today Magazine

Stroke Team Gets Golfer Back to Par

Bob Stallman

Last July, Bob Stallman thought he was just having a bad day at the golf course where he works near his home
in Barnhart.

 “Some of the guys started telling me I didn’t look right, but I didn’t think much of it,” he said.
“I started putting away some of the golf carts, because it looked like rain that day, and I started stumbling around while putting the carts away.”

The effects didn’t register fully with Bob until it started to rain and some players came into the pro shop asking for rain checks.

“A light bulb finally went off when I realized I could not write my name on a piece of paper,” recalled Bob, 66. 

“I told a co-worker to relieve me at work and had my wife, Marie, take me to St. Anthony’s Emergency Department, because something was wrong.”

Bob had suffered an ischemic stroke, caused by a clot in a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain, said Marsha Enchelmaier, M.S.N., R.N., Stroke Program Manager. Ischemic strokes account for 87 percent of all strokes, while hemorrhagic strokes – or brain bleeds – account for 13 percent. 

Bob Stallman’s symptoms had passed the window of opportunity for IV treatment with tissue plasminogen activator or tPA, a clot-busting drug, Enchelmaier said. However, Bob had suffered a mild stroke and his prognosis is good, she said.

 “Ischemic strokes can be treated if a patient gets to the hospital within four and a half hours of symptom onset,” Enchelmaier said. “Patients and families need to recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke and call 911 as quickly as possible.”

 Within minutes after Bob’s arrival, the Emergency Department staff was running everything from CT scans to EKGs, he recalled. 

“The right side of my body was affected, specifically my right arm and hand and my right leg. The Emergency Department staff was great in keeping both my wife and I informed as to what was going on. Dr. Head (neurologist Richard Head, M.D.) was very helpful in explaining what had happened to me.”

Bob was admitted to the hospital and, on July 8, began recovery therapy in Acute Rehab. He returned home on July 25 and now is exercising daily and working part-time at the golf course. 

“I’m now able to walk two miles,” Bob noted, and smiled. “I cannot say much about my golf game, other than it is a work in progress.”