My name is Frank. I was born in Holland, and moved to Chatham-Kent, Ontario at the age of eight. My wife Shirley and I have four beautiful children, seven amazing grandchildren, and two wonderful great grandchildren.
On the morning of August 21st, 2019, I knew something was wrong. I wasn’t feeling well and I was having trouble speaking. I was rushed to the Emergency Department at Chatham-Kent Health Alliance’s Chatham Site, knowing I needed medical assistance. What I didn’t know was that there was a blockage in one of the blood vessels in my brain, interrupting the blood flow to my most important organ. I was having a stroke.
Luckily, the Emergency department physicians and staff were able to quickly identify my symptoms, and contact a neurologist through the Ontario Telemedicine Network’s Telestroke Program.
By providing the doctors overseeing my care with 24/7 access to neurologists located across the province, this program saved my life. These highly-skilled specialists assisted with my assessment and treatment while I was experiencing acute symptoms of stroke.
Within minutes I was properly diagnosed, and sent for surgery. I survived my stroke with only a slight droop to the right side of my face. Without this program, my story might have had a different ending. It’s comforting to know that through this program, members of the Chatham-Kent community have access to a standard of care that has been unavailable in the past.