Even Doctors Can Have a Stroke

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Bob Hallinan

Executive Producer

Office: (913) 588-7284

Cell: (913)-481-7329



           You’d think of all people, a doctor would know what’s going on with his own body. After all, Dr. Bob Levene had recently retired after nearly five decades of treating patients. But one day, he fell down in his house and couldn’t get up…yes, just like in the TV commercial. He called his sons, one who’s a firefighter, who both rushed right over. The firefighter immediately recognized his dad’s slurring and facial paralysis as symptoms of a stroke. Not wanting to wait for an ambulance because seconds count, the sons got their dad into the car and rushed him to the hospital, where a CT scan showed a blood clot blocking flow to Bob’s brain. From there, he was taken to The University of Kansas Health System, where he underwent a clot retrieval procedure. Within 24 hours, he was back to normal.

            In the video, Dr. Michael Abraham, an interventional neurologist at The University of Kansas Health System, describes the device called a stent retriever that he used to pull out the clot. He talks about how clots can cause a stroke and says that even though Bob is on the mend, he’ll always be at risk for a stroke because of a condition called atrial fibrillation, or A-FIB.

            Also on the video, Dr. Bob Levene admits he missed some of the early signs of a stroke…and had no idea he was having one at the time. He says it didn’t even occur to him because of a fairly clean family history and none of his relatives ever had a vascular problem. He says even though he’s back to normal physically, there are still lingering effects, for which he sees a speech pathologist. He tries to read 40 minutes a day as part of his recovery process, and hopes to get back to what he calls his boring life of retirement.