A Patient Story – Mr. Carpenter
It was not a typical morning for Randy. It was 9:30 a.m., and his wife, Cathy was normally still asleep. But this day, she joined him at the kitchen table following his workout. As Randy sat quietly at the kitchen table the right side of his face and his tongue suddenly went numb. Within minutes, he experienced blindness followed by paralysis on the right side of his body that caused him to fall to the floor from his chair. His wife immediately called their son, Ryan – a Critical Care Paramedic – who had just started his shift that morning in a firehouse only one mile away. Their son, Ryan, arrived at their home within minutes.
“When I looked up and saw Ryan, I was overcome with emotion. I knew he would help me,” shared Mr. Carpenter. Ryan calmly asked his dad a series of questions and it took Randy about 30 second to respond to each question. He knew immediately his dad had suffered a stroke. Randy was transported to Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center where Ryan immediately briefed the medical staff of his dad’s pre-existing conditions.
Following an evaluation of Randy, Dr. Keith Woodward, Neuro-Interventional Radiologist with Vista Radiology, explained to Mrs. Carpenter that he must perform an Embolectomy to remove a pencil eraser-size clot and two smaller clots from Randy’s brain.
Randy recalls being moved into what appeared to be a surgical unit and being told not to move. “I went through periods of extreme pain – so bad that I cried. It would come, then release, then come again. It felt like it went on for a long period of time,” shared Mr. Carpenter. The pain he experienced was from the blockages being pulled out. Suddenly, a nurse moved a machine away and leaned over and asked him if he was ok? Weeping, Randy recalled, “The nurse kept gently patting me on the shoulder. She never let go of me.” The moment the clots were removed, he immediately regained feeling in his right side and his vision was restored.
Randy’s recovery was dramatic and so complete that within two hours of having his procedure he passed physical therapy tests, including moving freely up and down stairs without any limitations, as well as all speech pathology and occupational therapy tests. His transformation was nothing short of a miracle.
In fact, Mr. Carpenter went on to explain his connection to Dr. Woodward. In 2019, Randy had Gamma Knife surgery to remove an AVM from the left side of his brain. The procedure required a cerebral mapping of his brain to determine the exact location of the surgery. “The Interventional Radiologist who performed the procedure was Dr. Keith Woodward, the same Interventional Radiologist who performed my Embolectomy and reversed the effects of my stroke. I think God put Dr. Woodward and I together. We will forever have a connection,” explained Randy.
“I am grateful to God, grateful for Dr. Woodward’s expertise and thankful for the knowledge of the medical staff! It was about an hour and half (CONFIRM TIMING) of no blood flow to my brain yet I walked away with no effects or deficits from the stroke,” continued Randy. As an author of 7 published books and over 3,000 inspirational writings on Facebook and Twitter, the very skills Randy uses every day could have been completely erased had blood flow not been reestablished in the left hemisphere of his brain. “It was one miracle after another – my wife being awake and beside me, my son being at work the exact moment of my episode, and Dr. Woodward being on call and having mapped the exact location of my stroke over four years earlier. I am just so thankful,” Randy emotionally confides.
In his spare time, Randy enjoys serving in his church, loving his grandchildren, writing inspirational content and other literary projects as well as spending time with his family.