My Extraordinary Care

My Extraordinary Care

Patient Larry Johnson

Larry Johnson -

Hammond resident

“I was sitting at the computer after work about 3 a.m. and my whole right side went out on me. When I tried to grab the mouse to log off, I couldn't.

"I knew something was wrong," says Johnson. "I'm right-handed, but had to grab the mouse with my left hand; my entire right side had shut down."

I should have gone to the hospital - I only live ½-block away, but I didn't. I thought whatever was happening was over, so I went to bed. When I couldn't walk to the bathroom after getting out of bed later that morning; my girlfriend called an ambulance.

On the way, the EMT kept asking me the same question, and I thought I was answering, but my words were coming out all gibberish. At the hospital, Johnson can't recall much, but remembers familiar faces at his bedside - his girlfriend crying, his sister a nurse at the foot of the bed, and hands pumping his chest.

"All of a sudden, I woke up," Johnson says. "I raised my arms. It was amazing. I could open and shut my right fist. It was tingling at first, but then it was fine. My ability to speak came back, too."

I was prescribed blood thinning medication, sent home, and made a follow-up appointment with Dr. Gandhi.”

Arvind Gandhi, M.D. -


“Mr. Johnson had a cardiac condition, called a patent foramen ovale or PFO, which had triggered a stroke. It's the same cardiac defect that Poison rocker and Celebrity Apprentice winner Bret Michaels has been diagnosed with. If the effects of the stroke last less than 24 hours as in Mr. Johnson's case, it's called a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA).

To prevent Mr. Johnson from having another stroke and being on blood thinning medication for the rest of his life, we closed the hole in his heart using an implant device called CardioSEAL®.

It's a minimally invasive procedure with no scar and fewer complications than traditional open-heart surgery. Our patients usually return home the same day or following morning. Since surgery is not involved, the patient is able to get back to an active lifestyle sooner.

"I had wonderful care," Johnson says. "It's a miracle I'm here today to talk about it.”