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Know the danger signs for stroke

October 18, 2013

Joe Vetter didn't recognize the sudden change in his vision as being a sign of a stroke, but his wife knew something was wrong. A trip to Duke Urgent Care, and subsequent visits with Duke specialists, revealed a heart condition he didn't know he had.

On a July morning in 2013, Joe Vetter was getting ready for the day. Suddenly, he couldn’t see. “It was like somebody had turned the lights off,” he says. All but his peripheral vision returned, and even though he seemed fine otherwise, his wife, Betsy, knew this was a danger sign. They hurried to Duke Urgent Care, where providers sent them to the emergency department at Duke University Hospital. There they learned Vetter had experienced a series of strokes.

After Vetter was admitted, more tests revealed a heart condition he never knew he had. Today, he receives follow-up care at Duke from neurologist Larry Goldstein, MD, and cardiologist Eric Peterson, MD. Vetter is making every moment count. “I feel very lucky,” he says.

Although no one hopes for a hospital stay, Vetter says his time at Duke was the best it could be thanks to the nursing staff. “We gave them a basket of fruit when we left,” he says.

But Vetter’s experience was not his first with Duke Health. One of Joe’s daughters was born with a birth defect, and it was the doctors at Duke Children’s Hospital that were able to diagnosis and treat her. When Joe got sick, both Betsy and Joe knew Duke and knew they were in the right place to receive the right care. “Not only did we know Duke from the care my daughter received, but we also knew the doctors at Duke are some of the most highly acclaimed in the country. We believe in Duke and are so thankful to have this kind of care so close by.”

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