South Jersey doctor suffers stroke after COVID-19 infection

MULLICA HILL, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A New Jersey cardiologist on the front lines of the coronavirus says he's lucky to be alive after suffering a stroke.

Dr. Troy Randle was working at Virtua Health in South Jersey helping patients battling COVID-19.

He tried to stay protected but he got the virus.

His symptoms seemed a little different than what he was used to seeing.

"I don't usually get headaches but the headache was just front and back, and it felt like it was squeezing in both directions," said Randle.

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He says his symptoms would become crippling.

"A lot of times during the day I would be fine, functioning. And in the evenings it would get worse, and my wife would laugh at me sometimes, she would see me walking around the bedroom fine but then like I'd be balled up in the fetal position," recalled Randle.

It turns out the virus caused clotting in his vertebral artery. He suffered a stroke.

"I think my stroke started Thursday morning. I did not present to the ER until Saturday," said Randle.

It turns out strokes are becoming more and more common with COVID-19 patients.

"We actually had another patient in our system that was under the age of 50 as well," said Randle.

At Jefferson University Hospital there has been more of the same.

Dr. Pascal Jabbour says strokes have been happening with coronavirus patients young and old.

"We noticed young patients with no risk factors were presenting with strokes," said Jabbour.

The kinds of strokes they're coming up against are much worse than usual.

"Usually when someone presents with a stroke, it's a clot in one vessel. But here, we've seen patients with clots in multiple vessels of the brain. Some other patients, even though we opened the vessel on time, they had stroke in another portion of the brain."

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