Local man’s recovery from stroke is a testament to quick response time

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A local man is making significant strides after suffering a stroke almost two years ago.

Dena Randel had a stroke when he was walking outside of his farm in rural North Central Kansas.

Neighbors found him outside and quickly called for an ambulance.

Vicky Bartel, Director of Rehabilitation at Newman Regional Health, said that their quick action made all the difference. 

“The quicker that you get to us the better,” Bartel said. “If you have something wrong with your face, your arm, your speech, it’s very important to use the time to get help very quickly. The longer you go, the less opportunities we have to reduce those long term symptoms.”

Dena was able to get to the hospital in under an hour, but his wife, Lana Randel, said the consequences were alarming. 

“When he first had his stroke, I was very worried,” Randel said. “I didn’t know if he would ever be able to leave the hospital or some type of nursing facility.”

The Randels moved to Emporia to be closer to family and get therapy at Newman Regional Health.

Bartel said that when he arrived he could only say one word, a stark difference from his current state.

In the last two years, Dena has worked hard in speech, occupational and physical therapy to see many improvements. 

Dena said himself, “I can do all sorts of things.” 

His story echoes Bartels message that the quicker you get help during a stroke, the better the outcome could be. 

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