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Bouncing back

Gary HubbGary Hubb

Gary Hubb has been playing tennis, on average, three times a week for 35 years. On Labor Day 2009, he was playing vicariously, not on the courts but from his armchair at his Pebble Beach home, watching the U.S. Open tennis tournament on television. And it was there that he suffered a stroke.

The week before, Hubb had experienced an accelerated heartbeat, so he visited his doctor. The decision was made to implant a defibrillator to send electrical impulses to his heart, restoring normal rhythm when necessary. The next day, Hubb was resting comfortably at home when his wife Dyan noticed troubling signs.

She heard his slurred speech, saw the droop of his left facial features, and found that he couldn't raise his arms. She recognized the classic symptoms of a stroke and called 9-1-1. He was taken to Community Hospital.

"I had no particular feeling and no pain," says Hubb, 72. "I had all my comprehension; I just couldn't speak clearly, and I knew it. My mind was clear as a bell, or so I thought, but I couldn't enunciate. My wife jumped on it, and away we went.

"I was in emergency-room care within 30 minutes. There, they determined I was a prime candidate for tPA (tissue plasminogen activator), the clot buster. There is a time frame, a window you have to fall within to get the tPA or it isn't effective. I was there in time, so they gave it to me and it did the trick."

Four days after he was admitted to Community Hospital, Hubb went home.

"I have had no lingering symptoms or side effects and no rehabilitation," says Hubb. "It wasn't a miracle, just quick thinking by my wife and good care at Community Hospital.

"In my case, it was very timely and important that the hospital had put the stroke program in place and was up and running to become a certified stroke center. It saved my life. Thanks to Community Hospital and the competent, qualified staff, I feel great and have no adverse symptoms. It's nice to live nearby, and I'm grateful for their care."