Survivor to throw out first pitch for Strike Out Stroke night at Reds game

Survivor to throw out first pitch at Strike Out Stroke night at the Reds game May 11 (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (Perry Schaible) - A Tri-State doctor was suddenly a patient when he suffered a stroke while at work. Dr. Tim Coyne will toe the rubber for Strike Out Stroke night at the Reds game.

May is Stroke Awareness Month. It's a platform especially important to Dr. Coyne because, at just 46-years-old, he's a survivor.

Stroke is the fifth leading killer in the United States, but, "Many people who have a stroke don't even understand what's happening to them."

Symptoms can come on so suddenly and few people know the warning signs. Doctors use the acronym FAST; face, arm, speech, and time. "We ask people to look at their face, ask somebody to smile to see if one side droops down. We ask them to hold out both arms to see if one arm drifts down, and we ask them to say a simple sentence."

If the victim is struggling with any of those things, "Don't wait for things to get better. Don't call your friend or family or doctor's office, call 911 right away."

It's a quick reaction that helped save Dr. Coyne, a retired anesthesiologist at Bethesda North Hospital. "I was at work and all of a sudden I started feeling kind of funny and got a little dizzy. And, then I blacked out for a minute and came to and I couldn't move my right side."

Dr. Kleindorfer says Coyne's case is miraculous. The stroke was massive, his body completely paralyzed, he couldn't talk, but fast thinking meant he got clot-busting medicine that saved his life.

What's even more miraculous is that on May 11, Dr. Coyne will throw out the first pitch at Great American Ball Park before the Reds take on the Pirates. "I'm doing great. My speech is pretty much like it should be. Mentally I can do everything that I could before, so I'm good."

Dr. Coyne says he's been throwing a baseball with his son and is ready to go. He had a pre-existing condition for stroke, an artificial heart valve due to a birth defect.

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