Jeff's Story

Stroke Care
“Jeff tells how his young daughters saved his life - and his brain - following a stroke. (Melrose, stroke at age 45)”

Quick help saves brain

Jeff Birch of Melrose was fortunate that his daughters Avery, 9, and Kyja, 12 at the time, realized he needed help when he had stroke at their home in February 2016 at the age of 45.

Jeff was diagnosed at CentraCare Health – Melrose by a neurologist via TeleStroke. CentraCare Neurosciences Stroke Center provides TeleStroke services in the region to help patients experiencing a stroke receive treatment as quickly as possible and reduce the effects of stroke.

A stroke is a stop in blood flow to the brain. It could be caused by a blocked blood vessel or bleeding in the brain.

Jeff was flown to St. Cloud Hospital, where Interventional Neurologist Fareed M. Suri, MBBS, performed surgery to remove a blockage of a blood vessel in the brain. Dr. Suri said Jeff was lucky because he got to the operating room well within the timeframe where the treatment is effective. This is why it is important for people of all ages to know the signs and symptoms of stroke.

Today, Jeff enjoys golfing, fishing and spending time with family, including their dogs.

Learn more about Jeff's story.

Common Stroke Symptoms

  • Sudden face, arm or leg weakness — especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
  • Sudden headache with no known cause.
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Sudden walking or balance problems