Fifteen vital minutes saved a young Leeds sportsman from being left disabled after he suffered a stroke.
Andy Rhodes, 24, received a vital clot-busting injection just in the nick of time – thanks to his nurse girlfriend spotting how ill he was.
The injection which saved 24-year-old cricketer Andy from the risk of long-term paralysis has to be administered within three hours of the symptoms appearing and he was diagnosed with just 15 minutes to spare.
His symptoms were only recognised because his girlfriend is a nurse and he was staying at her home in Menston at the time. Andy said: “If I had not had the injection, I would still be in hospital now.
“I thought I was invincible and this would never happen to someone like me. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. It’s been horrendous.”
The keen amateur cricketer was perfectly healthy until the attack. He tried to get out of bed and but could not move one side of his body.
“I was completely paralysed down my right side,” Andy said.
“I couldn’t move my arm and I didn’t have a clue what was going on.”
Andy was staying with his girlfriend Nicole Lesnianski and luckily the nurse realised he was having a stroke.
“If I had not stayed with her, there’s a chance I wouldn’t be here now,” he said.
Andy, of Burley-in-Wharfedale, was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary by ambulance, unable to speak or move.
There he was taken to the specialised Acute Stroke Unit and then had a brain scan.
“They found a massive clot on the front left of my brain,” he said. Andy was given the gold-standard thrombolysis treatment of a clot-busting drug with only minutes to go before the treatment would have been rendered ineffective.
The results were amazing – within half an hour he was able to move and soon his speech returned. He spent five days in hospital but has since recovered to the point where he has been able to return to work as a painter and decorator.
Medics are still unsure why he had the stroke and he is undergoing tests, as well as taking the blood-thinning drug Warfarin. Andy said he was so thankful for Nicole’s expertise and the specialists in Leeds.
Now he is gearing up for a charity bike ride to raise cash for the Stroke Association.
He added: “The more money we raise, the more people we will be able to save through this injection.”