It’s not exactly how Robert Constantino planned to spend his 72nd birthday, but he was able to maintain his sense of humor throughout the ordeal.
"They started doing cognitive tests, this cute nurse, she goes, ‘Well, where are you?’ I said, ‘I'm at Delray Medical.’ She said, ‘What day is it?’ and I go, ‘Well that's easy, it's my birthday.’ And then she says, ‘I have a pen here, what should I do with it?’ and I said, ‘Write down your phone number for me,’" Constantino says.
“I felt woozy and I collapsed into the island and cracked my ribs and fell straight to the floor, again I was cognizant of what was going on but I had no strength and no understanding of what was happening. By the grace of god my son comes through the door," Constantino says.
His son ran to get a neighbor who happened to be a physician, and Constantino was rushed to the hospital. Doctors credit the swift medical attention Constantino was able to receive with saving his life and leaving him without permanent neurological damage.
"He was fortunate, because within an hour of having symptoms he was already in the ER, and within two hours, the clot was out of the brain," Dr. Dennys Reyes says.
Constantino was released from the ICU after just three days to go home, but not before celebrating his birthday from his hospital bed. Dr. Reyes says most stroke patients take 90 days to recover.
"After we took the clot out, he woke up, he was already talking normally, and he was moving his left side and the first thing he said was, 'It’s my birthday' and we were like wow, what’s going on,” Reyes says.