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Oklahoma man suffers spinal cord stroke in Arkansas, UAMS saves his life

A springtime night of fun with friends in Mena left an Oklahoma City portal officer with spinal cord stroke. (KATV Photo)

A springtime night of fun with friends in Mena left an Oklahoma City portal officer with spinal cord stroke.

A couple was visiting the city for a four-wheeling trip when the husband suddenly didn't feel right and tried to express to his wife what was happening to his body.

"I tried to tell her something was wrong. I remember grabbing the front of that four-wheeler, she was standing by. I kind of fell into her trying to tell her something was wrong. At that point, I just lost all strength," said Sergeant Donny Koger.

The ambulance immediately transported Donny to the Mena Regional Medical Center, a participating hospital in the Arkansas Saves Program.

He was treated and stabilized at the Mena hospital and then flown to UAMS.

"We were given the diagnosis that Donny had a spinal stroke and that his prognosis was grave at that time," said Rebecca Koger, Donny's wife.

Doctors told Rebecca that Donny had no movement from the nose down, could not speak and would likely be in long-term care for his treatment.

Dr. Sanjeeva Onteddu, UAMS vascular neurologist, told Rebecca there could be another solution for Donny, a procedure that had not been done before.

Rebecca was willing to try anything to save Donny's life.

UAMS saved Sergeant Donny Koger's life by treating his kind of stroke for the first time.

The time-frame of the procedures and the Arkansas Saves Program is what made Donny's treatment successful, explained Dr. Onteddu.

After physical therapy, Donny was able to return to work. He comes back to UAMS for checkups.

The Krogers are advocating to get something similar to the UAMS Arkansas Saves program in Oklahoma City.




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