Western Ky. band teacher recovers from stroke thanks to fast-thinking students

Paducah Tilghman band teacher Chris Loe (left) is thankful to be alive following a stroke he...
Paducah Tilghman band teacher Chris Loe (left) is thankful to be alive following a stroke he suffered while teaching class. (Right) Dr. Braun Hashemi.(Baptist Health Paducah)
Published: May. 30, 2022 at 3:00 PM EDT
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PADUCAH, Ky. (KFVS) - A western Kentucky band teacher is recovering from a stroke thanks to his fast-thinking students.

According to a release from Baptist Health Paducah, Chris Loe was teaching his percussion class at Paducah Tilghman High School when he suddenly couldn’t recognize his arm as he held it out in front of him, nor could he verbally respond to his students.

“The students were asking me what was wrong and I couldn’t answer them. I was paralyzed on my whole right side and I couldn’t talk,” Loe, 32, of Paducah, said in the release.

The students jumped into action and called 911.

Loe was taken to the hospital by ambulance where an ER doctor met him in the ambulance for an assessment.

According to Baptist Health, the initial findings indicated a stroke, including right facial drooping, right arm weakness and dysarthria.

They said he met the criteria for a “code stroke” and was taken directly to a CT scan, where he received the clot-busting drug tPA.

If given intravenously in the 4.5 hours after the start of stroke symptoms, the hospital said tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability.

“If someone experiences symptoms of a stroke, they should call 911 right away. When EMS arrives, they assess the situation and if it looks like a stroke, they’ll take the patient to a certified stroke center,” said Baptist Health Paducah neurologist, Claire Braun Hashemi, MD. “Time is of the essence. The sooner you get tPA administered, the better it goes.”Thanks to the timely tPa that was given, Loe has made a full recovery.

Loe credited the quick action of his students and Dr. Braun Hashemi.

”The students were amazing,” he said. “I think they’re all heroes. I don’t think I would be here today if it wasn’t for them.”

Baptist Health Paducah reminded everyone that May is National Stroke Awareness Month.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the #5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the U.S.

On average, they say someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

According to Baptist Health, the acronym B.E.F.A.S.T. is a good way to learn stroke symptoms.

  • B – Balance: Does the person have a sudden loss of balance?
  • E – Eyes: Has the person lost vision in one or both eyes?
  • F - Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
  • A - Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S - Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand?
  • T - Time to call 911: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 and get them to the hospital immediately.

Additional stroke signs include sudden severe headache with no known cause or sudden confusion or trouble understanding.

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