ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4)– Proper treatment helped save the life of a 43-year-old man from Arvada who had suffered a stroke. On Friday, Brian Thorson and his wife met those who saved his life.

“They really know what they’re doing and it obviously saves lives… We don’t have enough thank yous,” said Thorson.

It’s rare that patients get to meet the emergency responders who save their lives. That’s what makes the reunion for Thorson and his expecting wife so special.

Stroke patient Brian Thornson gives Flight Nurse Bob Greene a hug (credit: CBS)

Stroke patient Brian Thornson gives Flight Nurse Bob Greene a hug (credit: CBS)

Thorson was at home when he had a stroke.

“I just knew after getting sick that the tingling I felt in my body was not normal. That’s when I asked her to call 911 and I’m glad I did,” said Thorson.

Thorson was rushed to a local hospital and then airlifted to Swedish Medical Center.

“When we met Brain, he couldn’t talk to us at all. He could hear us but he couldn’t express anything. He couldn’t move his right side, was completely paralyzed,” said HealthONE Airlife Flight Nurse Bob Greene.

Airlife and the stroke team at Swedish Medical Center moved quickly with life-saving interventions. Every second matters when it comes to having a stroke.

Dr. David Loy said Thorson’s age, being so young, weighed on him heavily.

“It feels like 10,000 pounds walking in, on your shoulders, because you feel the expectations and the worries of that entire family,” said Loy. “They won’t have a dad if I can’t get this done today.”

The medical team was able to identify the tear in Thorson’s neck artery that clotted and caused the stroke.

“For him to be present for the birth of his first child and contribute to the next step of his life is amazing,” said Greene.

The early signs of stroke can be remembered with the acronym FAST: F- Facial Droop, A- Arm Weakness, S- Slurred Speech, T- What Time did this happen?


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