Thursday, March 8, 2012

Strokes can strike at any age

When Cody Dietz wouldn’t wake up the morning after a party, his friends thought he had a hangover and let him sleep. They never thought that their 17-year-old friend had suffered a stroke that could have taken his life.
codydietz2.JPGView full sizeCody Dietz is nearly fully recovered from the stroke he suffered in 2008, although he still participates in physical, occupational, vision and aquatic therapy.
“His friend’s father called me and said ‘Your son is incoherent. Can I call 911?’” said Cody’s mother, Bonnie Dietz, remembering the events of July 30, 2008. The boys had been drinking at another location the previous night and had come to his friend’s house afterward, she said.
At York Hospital’s emergency room, a CAT scan revealed their son had suffered a large left-brain stroke. He was taken by Life Lion helicopter to Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, where his neurologist Dr. Ray Reichwein had no time to waste in making lifesaving decisions.
“The timeline of the diagnosis is key. Many of the therapies have the best outcome when done within six hours; Cody’s delay in diagnosis was close to 12 hours,” said Reichwein, who could not use some of the standard therapies because of the delay.