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Award-winning TV reporter grateful for VGH Stroke Program

As a CTV news reporter, Brent Gilbert used to think his job was the definition of “time sensitive.” Last year, he suffered a stroke in the middle of the newsroom and learned what it meant for every second to count.

That day, Gilbert was just getting over a flu bug. He still had a persistent cough and terrible headache. His co-worker, on-air medical columnist, Dr. Rhonda Low wondered if he was having a migraine. But when the right side of his body began to weaken, she realized he could be having a stroke and called 911. Once a stroke hits, the window of time to act is tiny.

Paramedics brought Gilbert to VGH, home of the provincial Stroke Program. VGH has the best diagnostic imaging, and the most highly trained and experienced stroke experts and staff in the province. GF Strong Rehab Centre is often crucial for further recovery and rehabilitation.

Stroke specialist Dr. Samuel Yip was waiting for the stroke patient when the ambulance arrived at VGH. Dr. Yip confirmed Gilbert’s cough had torn his carotid artery, leading to the stroke.

“My treatment at VGH was extraordinary. I received the very best care from my arrival at Emergency all the way through to rehab,“says Gilbert. “My family and I are very fortunate – stroke is the leading cause of major disability in Canada, yet I have made a complete recovery!”

Someone in Canada suffers a stroke every seven minutes. It is the third leading cause of death, the second leading cause of dementia, and, unfortunately, the most expensive hospital diagnosis. Strokes can affect anyone and often result in permanent disability – affecting not just the patient, but family members as well.

“Today I’m healthy, active, and back at work. I’m grateful to Dr. Yip and the nurses and therapists of the Stroke Program,” says Gilbert.

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