Stroke patient reunites with Good Samaritan who assisted during stroke event at local gym

On March 25, 2022, Larry Moyer of Spring Township, had completed his regular workout at PA Fitness when he collapsed from a stroke in the locker room. Fortunately, Paul Tanis and another gym patron, spotted him lying on the floor and asked Dorrine Griesbaum, the gym manager, to call 9-1-1 immediately. Their quick action and the response of local ambulance and the team at Reading Hospital saved Moyer’s life.

On Sunday, May 22, in recognition of National Stroke Month, Moyer met with those involved in his treatment including Tanus, Griesbaum, Jake Schweitzer and David Stemler, the two first responders from Western Berks Ambulance Association who treated Moyer on the way to Reading Hospital and Ahmad Al-Sibai, MD, Tower Health Medical Group Neurology.

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“I cannot stress how critical it is to call 9-1-1 when an individual is suffering a stroke,” said Vaibhav Goswami, MD, Tower Health Medical Group Neurology – West Reading. “When treating a stroke, every second counts. EMS alerts our team so we are prepared when the patient arrives, and we can immediately begin testing and treatment.”

When Moyer arrived at the hospital, he was paralyzed on his right side and his speech was affected. The Stroke team acted quickly and treated him with IV t-PA to dissolve the blood clot. Less than one hour after receiving the treatment he began to regain feeling on the right side of his body and within 24 hours he no longer had paralysis or slurred speech. After six days in the hospital Moyer was released with no restrictions.

“I’ve talked with Larry before, so I knew something serious was happening,” said Tanis. “While others called 9-1-1, I waited with him until an ambulance came. I didn’t know it was a stroke, but he had the classic warning signs I’ve always heard about – when he tried to speak his words were slurred and one side of his face was drooping. I’m so glad he made a full recovery. We all have to help each other and that is what I would hope anyone would do in a similar situation.”

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Moyer made a full recovery since the stroke. He said, “Six days after the stroke I walked out of the hospital. All the people involved were my angels. Each one did exactly what needed to be done – from calling 9-1-1, getting me to the hospital, and giving me the clot busting drug. I’m so fortunate for my recovery and that I get a second chance at life.”

Reading Hospital is certified as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission. This important designation means the hospital is fully equipped and staffed to provide state-of-the-art rapid evaluation and treatment of stroke, offering administration of clot busting medicine and clot retrieval procedures.

In addition, Reading Hospital was recently named among the Top 10 percent in the Nation for Stroke Care (from 2006-2022) and is the only hospital in Pennsylvania to achieve the Healthgrades Stroke Care Excellence Award for 16 years in a row (2007-2022).

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