Lifesaving emergency surgery helps NYC musician survive back-to-back stroke – NBC New York

As a 52-year-old, music is so much a part of who Jason Candler is – but these days he can only watch some old performances online.

“I want to do it right now, but I can not,” he said when he saw a clip of himself playing the saxophone.

This is because Candler suffered back-to-back strokes earlier in 2021, separated by less than a week. Candler said the health hazards were “something out of nothing that hit.”

With his arm in a sling and a cane by his side, walks with the family are something worth celebrating for Candler.

“I pretty much had to learn to walk from the bottom up again, not knowing how to do anything,” he said.

It was back in April when Candler started losing all emotion on his left side while playing with his 2-year-old son. He was quickly on the floor and then in the hospital. His wife called 911.

“I cried. I have never experienced anyone before having a stroke,” she said.

Within a few days he was home again – but not for long.

“I had a wonderful weekend, and then that Sunday came, and boom, knocked me flat on my back again

Blood clots meant doctors had to perform emergency surgery on his skull, a procedure that Candler said saved his life.

“If they did not cut the skull, I would be gone, completely gone,” he said. “They had to cause a coma. It’s unbelievable that I’m still here.”

His medical team on Mount Sinai hopes to raise awareness on this World Stroke Day, praising the scientific advances that helped save Candler’s lives.

“What Jason had, 20 years ago it was not right to treat, we would not talk to him,” said one of the doctors treating Candler.

Doctors said you remember the abbreviation “FAST”: Watch out for warning signs on your face, arms, speech – and do not waste time getting to the hospital.

It can affect just about anyone, but there are steps to help yourself: Quitting smoking and treating high blood pressure and high cholesterol are all good beginnings.

“It just hits without warning,” Candler said.

The road to recovery will be long for the father and husband, who said the left arm “just feels like weight now.” But he is far from defeated.

“The first thing I have to do is work on the left shoulder so we can work on the fingers,” said Candler, who is already looking forward to when he is able to play music again.


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