It was supposed to be like any other day. Until it wasn't.
Buthler Julien was getting a drink of water when he began to feel odd. He felt a sharp pain in his head and a tingling sensation down the right side of his body. He tried to stand up, but his right leg wouldn't cooperate and he fell down. Upon hearing the commotion, Buthler's then-girlfriend Evelyn Galarza, a registered nurse at Broward Health Medical Center, came running to see what happened. Remembering her training, she asked Buthler to smile for her. When he was unable to lift the right side of his face, Evelyn recognized he was having a stroke.
She immediately called 9-1-1.
The emergency medical team intentionally drove past several area hospitals to bring Buthler to Broward Health North’s Emergency Department, which has a comprehensive stroke center that offers advanced stroke care. The comprehensive stroke team had already been alerted that a possible stroke patient was being brought in and when Buthler arrived the team swiftly moved into action, assessing him and then taking him to surgery.
Buthler underwent a mechanical thrombectomy procedure. Celso Agner, M.D., a neurointerventionalist, placed a stent, or wire mesh, into the cerebral artery to locate and remove the blood clot, restoring normal blood flow to the brain.
Buthler’s surgery was successful and he was transferred to Broward Health North’s inpatient rehabilitation unit, where he worked with a multidisciplinary team of physical, occupational and speech therapists to regain control of his movements. Through perseverance and a positive attitude, Buthler is now independent and can walk unassisted.
Today, he continues to work with the specially trained outpatient rehabilitation team at Broward Health North and his chances of a full recovery are good. Buthler and Evelyn are now engaged and planning their wedding. Watch his story.