Stroke of fortune after fast diagnosis

SURVIVOR: David Carkeek wants more people to recover from stroke – as he has – and that means 24-hour access to a CT scanner. PHOTO: RENEE PILCHER
SURVIVOR: David Carkeek wants more people to recover from stroke – as he has – and that means 24-hour access to a CT scanner. PHOTO: RENEE PILCHER

DAVID Carkeek is enjoying his good fortune.

And that in itself is not a bad result for a man who had a stroke only six months ago.

It is a result which Mr Carkeek says proves the importance of prompt treatment for stroke victims.

Although that treatment may cost a fortune, Mr Carkeek's main point is that better and faster local diagnosis would save not only lives, but an enormous amount of the public money now spent on high level care for people who have not made his kind of recovery.

To perform that prompt local diagnosis, Mr Carkeek says the doctors at Gympie Hospital need access to a CT scanner, and not only during normal working hours.

When Mr Carkeek had his stroke, he needed quick diagnosis, but found his timing was dangerously out.

There was no publicly available CT scanner in Gympie that Sunday evening and he had to travel to Nambour - another 40 to 50 fearful minutes away.

The scanner enabled doctors to determine that Mr Carkeek was suffering the effects of a clot, rather than a brain bleed.

Proper diagnosis is essential, he says, because the treatment for one cause is lethal to anyone suffering from the other one.

He spoke to The Gympie Times yesterday, on his way back to Cooloola Cove from one of his Nambour check-ups.

He admitted he enjoyed the check-ups.

The part he liked most was when they remarked how surprised they were at his recovery.

It was the kind of pleasure he would like other people to share.

"If you feel a tingling, or loss of balance or brief paralysis, you need to realise you have probably just had a stroke and you need to get to hospital. And the hospital needs to be equipped to diagnose your condition straight away.

"Gympie needs access to a CT scanner," he said.

Gympie Times

Topics:  health stroke awareness

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