HEALTH

Young stroke victim survives with quick, lifesaving treatment in northern Utah

May 15, 2023, 10:08 AM | Updated: May 17, 2023, 11:09 am

Melissa Coleman crouches next to her husband, , Brad Coleman, of North Ogden, who sits in a wheelch...

Melissa Coleman crouches next to her husband, , Brad Coleman, of North Ogden, who sits in a wheelchair at Intermountain Health's McKay-Dee Hospital on Oct. 10, 2022. (Coleman family photo)

(Coleman family photo)

OGDEN — Brad and Melissa Coleman were headed to their young child’s soccer game when his speech started to slur.

She stopped at a red light and looked over at her husband and saw the left side of his face drooping. When the symptoms started to hit him, Brad Coleman, of North Ogden, said he didn’t believe it could be a stroke — he was just 36 years old.

Melissa Coleman was also in denial, but as the symptoms continued to line up, she drove her husband to the nearest emergency room.

Despite Brad receiving clot-buster medication, it was determined that he would need to go to Intermountain Health’s McKay-Dee Hospital to receive a mechanical thrombectomy — a special emergency procedure that would remove the clot in his brain that was causing the stroke and its symptoms.

“We just know that it’s a great hospital, so we knew that he would receive the best care here, and that’s what we were after,” Melissa Coleman said. From when he arrived at the ER, to when the clot was removed, it was just 13 minutes, Brad Coleman said.

Due to a successful surgery, all his stroke symptoms were reversed.

“That’s the most critical component of this whole thing — is how quickly you can get care and how quickly you can get it resolved so it minimizes the amount of damage that you have to your brain,” Brad Coleman said. “I can’t say enough about Dr. (Travis) McKenzie and his staff, their quick response and the good care they provided.”

McKay-Dee, which received Primary Stroke Center Certification from the Joint Commission in 2007, has performed thrombectomies for hundreds of patients since 2011. The program recently went through a rigorous and extensive certification by the Joint Commission and became the first nationally certified thrombectomy-capable stroke center in Utah.

It was a process that has been “years in the making,” according to Dr. Michael Webb, a vascular and interventional radiological specialist at McKay-Dee. The new designation qualifies the hospital for a specific protocol in which emergency technicians can bypass other hospitals and take patients directly to McKay-Dee for the lifesaving procedure.

“Treating stroke effectively is a huge team effort,” Webb said. “What makes us unique, especially in northern Utah, is a team that has been training for a long time to take care of these patients who really have acute needs that are unique.

“The most satisfying thing is, that while stroke is a scary and debilitating disease process, for a lot of patients that receive timely care, their condition can be substantially improved, if not normalized.”

Despite all physical effects being reversed, Brad Coleman noted that the stroke still left some emotional scars.

“I wasn’t expecting the emotional impact of having a stroke,” he said. “The biggest question in my mind was, ‘Is this going to happen again — and if it does happen again, are we going to get as lucky as we did the first time?'”

Doctors still aren’t sure why Brad Coleman experienced a stroke at such a young age.

“There’s lots of reasons why young people can have strokes, they’re definitely not exempt from it — even kids have strokes,” said Dr. Melissa McDonald, a stroke neurologist at McKay-Dee. “I know that it can happen at pretty much any age.”

There is also “definitely a link between COVID and young people having strokes,” according to McDonald, as having COVID-19 can increase the coagulability of the blood and predispose some patients to strokes. Other predispositions could include hereditary clotting or cardiac abnormalities.

No matter the cause, McDonald said that the best way to see if someone is having a stroke is to remember some key symptoms, including that the individual is off-balance, their face is drooping, they have slurred speech and their arms are weaker.

And, she said, getting immediate treatment for stroke is of the essence.

“The sudden onset is the biggest clue that you’re having a stroke,” McDonald said. “If you suddenly have any of those symptoms, we recommend that you call 911 and get to a stroke center right away so you can get treated as soon as possible.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Health

Katy Welkie, vice president of Intermountain and CEO of Intermountain Primary Children's Hospital, ...

Eric Cabrera, Amie Schaeffer

Intermountain Health to open behavioral health center in Taylorsville

Intermountain Health is expanding its behavioral health services. A new center for children and teens will open in Taylorsville in 2025.

3 days ago

A hand is surrounded by blue surgical napkins as two other gloved hands operate on it during a carp...

Mariah Maynes

Utah Hand Center celebrates milestone in carpal tunnel surgeries

The Utah Hand Center said that is has become the first U.S. provider of orthopedic care to complete 3,000 successful carpal tunnel surgeries.

3 days ago

(Canva)...

Michelle Lee

Foods and drinks linked to anxiety

Let’s Get Moving Host Maria Shilaos spoke with Health Educator Dr. Julie Gatza to learn how we can reduce anxiety with foods and drinks.

4 days ago

The Foundation’s 38-foot RV, customized with two private exam rooms, will travel around the count...

CARLYSLE PRICE, KSL TV

Free skin cancer screening program visits Park City

Local dermatologists will provide free full-body skin cancer screenings in Park City in an RV meant just to check patients.

5 days ago

Johnson & Johnson brand baby powder, one of several products at the center of lawsuits against the ...

Kyle Remund

State of Utah reaches settlement with Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson will be giving Utah and many other states a massive payout due to deceptive marketing practices for talc-based products.

7 days ago

(Canva)...

Heather Peterson

Program connects those who struggle with mental health to employers

SALT LAKE CITY — A sector of Utah’s Department of Health and Human Services is connecting those who struggle with mental illnesses with employers, to aid in their recovery. With Individual Placement and Support (IPS) offices across the state, they help those who have suffered from mental health crises or a co-occurring substance use disorder, […]

8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Young stroke victim survives with quick, lifesaving treatment in northern Utah