Stroke survivor reflects on near-death experience

Dr. Brandon Giglio says the overall risk of a stroke in younger patients has been on the rise due to increasingly prevalent risk factors.

News 12 Staff

May 27, 2023, 12:04 AM

Updated 331 days ago

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In light of Stroke Awareness Month, a Brooklyn man is sharing his story about how he is thankful to be healthy again after suffering multiple strokes in his home.  
Alex Ortiz, 45, says a stroke was the last thing on his mind last October, when Ortiz suffered a stroke while watching football in his Brooklyn home.  
“I didn't think it could happen to me, I play sports all the time, I have no injuries and all that stuff,” said Ortiz. “My left arm kind of went to sleep... I thought it was a regular occurrence because sometimes you keep your arms up on the sofa and they go to sleep.” 
Ortiz says he knew it was a serious situation when the numbness grew and he couldn’t speak to his girlfriend without slurring his words. He contacted the doctors he works with at Sunriver Health in the Bronx, and when they heard his slurred speech, they got him in contact with a specialist right away.  
Ortiz was quickly transferred to Dr. Brandon Giglio at NYU Langone Hospital in Sunset Park, who found on the CAT scan that he suffered an acute stroke and already had sustained brain damage.  
Further tests reveal that Ortiz suffered five strokes that day, and while the type of stroke Ortiz suffered was rare, Dr. Giglio says the overall risk of stroke in younger patients has been on the rise due to increasingly prevalent risk factors. 
Giglio says there are many symptoms to watch out for, including but not limited to loss of balance or difficulty walking, blurry vision or double vision, loss of vision in one eye or both eyes, facial droop, arm weakness, arm numbness, difficulty producing speech and understanding speech. 
“I am thankful for my coworkers,” said Ortiz. “If it wasn’t for them, I probably wouldn’t have gone.” 


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