Posted on October 22, 2016

Mr. Sameh Hekal, a 28-year-old married father, was carrying out his usual duties as an accountant at work earlier this year when he suddenly experienced loss of vision in both eyes.

‘I was surrounded by my work colleagues at the time and they immediately noticed my distress,” explained Mr. Hekal, originally from Egypt. “Straight away I knew something was wrong, and my first thought was that it could be a stroke. I had suffered a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or low level stroke in 2015 and the sensations I felt were similar.”

Mr. Hekal’s colleagues called 999 immediately for an ambulance and he was quickly taken to Hamad General Hospital’s (HGH) Emergency Department. “Upon arrival at the Emergency Department, Mr. Hekal was rushed through for a CT scan to fully assess the extent of the damage in his brain,” said Dr. Hisham El-Khider, Specialist in Neurology at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC). “It was then clear to the medical team that he had suffered an acute stroke. We proceeded to treat Mr. Hekal with alteplase, a thrombolytic medicine to open the blocked blood vessel in the brain and reduce any brain damage caused by the blockage,” Dr. El-Khider explained.

“I was worried about the potential damage and impact that the stroke may have had, but I was reassured by the care team along every step of my assessment and treatment that they were doing what was needed to deliver the best outcome for me,” stated Mr. Hekal. “I’m extremely satisfied with the standard of care I received at HMC - from the ambulance crew, the emergency teams and the staff in the Stroke Ward. To suffer an acute stroke and be discharged home after just three days is enormous credit to everyone involved in my care. I’m delighted to say that I am now back to normal and my quality of life has not been affected by this experience,” explained Mr. Hekal.

Dr. Naveed Akhtar, head doctor in the HGH Stroke Ward, explained the benefit of HMC’s dedicated stroke service. “In the past few years we have worked hard to put in place processes to ensure stroke patients are treated as quickly and effectively as possible. This requires excellent communication between the ambulance, emergency, stroke and rehabilitation teams,” Dr. Akhtar noted. “The redesign of stroke services since 2014 has led to a reduction in the average length of stay for stroke patients, an increase in the rate of thrombolysis treatment and a reduction in the rate of complications for stroke patients,” stated Dr. Akhtar.