Cork teen’s life saved by hardworking team at CUH

Cork teen’s life saved by hardworking team at CUH
Roger Timon, and his mother Derbhile with the team at the CUH radiology department. 

A Cork teen who suffered a severe stroke, and faced a potential “lifetime of disability” has returned home from hospital and is today “idling away another weekend” thanks to a hardworking team at Cork University Hospital (CUH) who saved his life.

Seventeen-year-old Roger Timon, a player with Douglas Hall and Nemo Rangers, had been at home in his sitting room when he collapsed and suffered the potentially life-changing stroke.

Cork based consultant stroke physician and geriatrician, Dr Liam Healy has now shared Roger’s story on a thread on twitter to highlight the importance of acute stroke care and the work which is continuing to take place at CUH during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the thread, Dr Healy details how Roger’s mother Derbhile, had found him in their sitting room in a state where he was unable to talk or move.

Roger’s mother immediately contacted emergency services, and two paramedics assessed and stabilised the teenager, before the teen was rushed to CUH.

On arrival at the hospital Roger was assessed by the emergency medicine team.

At this point, he was unable to speak or see properly and was paralysed down his right size.

As the team suspected Roger had suffered a stroke, he was brought to the the radiology department for imaging where this was confirmed.

“His middle cerebral artery, the main blood supply to the left hand side of his brain, has become blocked by a blood clot. He is facing a lifetime of disability,” Dr Healy said.

The Cork consultant detailed how the team subsequently contacted Consultant Interventional Neuro-Radiologist Dr. Gerry Wyse, who while not on call, was at the hospital within 20 minutes as the team rapidly attempted to save Roger's life. 

“With help from critical care colleagues, Roger is quickly put to sleep. With the aid of skilled radiographers and nurses, who have also raced into help, Dr. Wyse and his team perform a thrombectomy. The blood clot is removed, but it is not yet clear what damage has been done,” Dr Healy explained.

The Cork teenager was brought to the acute stroke unit under the care of Stroke Neurologist, Dr. Aine Merwick, and Dr Healy said that by the very next day, Roger was “up and about, moving all of his limbs, walking and talking, bewildered by the fuss people are making of him.” 

The teenager underwent a number of tests over the next few days and four days later, was finally able to be reunited with his mother, Derbhile who had not been able to visit her son due to visiting restrictions.

Before they left for home however Roger and Derbhile called the Radiology Department to thank the team that saved his life.

“Roger is now back at home, idling away another weekend, waiting, like many of his Cork friends, for the world to get back to normal so he can get back outside playing sport.

His Mum, Derbhile, is just thankful he is home,” Dr Healy said in the thread. 

The Cork consultant said that he wasn't directly involved in Roger's care, but a number of his colleagues were - including the ambulance service, Emergency Medicine, Anaesthetics, Radiology and Neurology, as well as portering, administrative staff, therapists, doctors and healthcare assistants.

He said that Roger and Derbhile had allowed him to share their story “to improve public awareness of acute stroke care and to highlight our work here in CUH as we continue to develop and improve our stroke service.”

Dr Healy pointed out that CUH has performed16 thrombectomies in just the last month, for people ranging from 17-years-old through to 91 years old.

Both Douglas Hall AFC and Nemo Rangers have wished Roger a speedy recovery. 

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