Multiple strokes create sour notes in guitarist's health

Natan Camhi, stroke patient, North Shore Medical Center

Our-Stories-NatanAt 45 years old, Natan Camhi lives his life to the fullest. When he’s not busy working in construction, he serves as the lead guitarist for a heavy metal band. For years, Natan has excited audiences with his music and energy onstage. Because of his fast-paced lifestyle, he grew especially concerned after a series of unusual symptoms slowed him down.

“I noticed my speech was slow and slurred and I felt some numbness in my body,” recalls Natan. “The next day I woke up at 2 p.m., which was even more alarming because I’m usually up around dawn.”

For nearly a full day, he thought he was simply fatigued as a result of his physically demanding job and hobby. However, after realizing that his symptoms seemed to be more severe, Natan finally decided to take action. He struggled to make his way outside and asked his neighbor to call an ambulance, which brought him to North Shore Medical Center.

Once Natan arrived at the emergency room, the medical staff suspected he had suffered a stroke based on his symptoms and quickly referred him to the hospital’s Primary Stroke Center.

The stroke team performed an MRI and a CT scan which revealed a blockage in the left side of his brain. To their dismay, the tests also showed that Natan had suffered four strokes in the span of 12 hours. Fortunately, there was no need for surgery, and instead, he was given various medications to help prevent possible residual effects from the strokes.

Dr. Vitalie Crudu, medical director of North Shore’s cardiac catheterization laboratory, also performed a heart sonogram to make sure Natan’s heart hadn’t been compromised. Although it turned out to be fine, he stayed in the hospital for six days for observation. Dr. Amy Jarvis, medical director of North Shore’s Primary Stroke Center, monitored his condition during his hospital stay to ensure that no additional crises occurred.

“I am immensely grateful for the treatment I received from my doctors and the hospital,” Natan expresses. “This experience was a wake-up call for me, and I immediately made changes to my lifestyle.”

After he was released from the hospital, he quit smoking, a habit he had taken up more than 30 years ago. Natan also switched to a healthier diet and was advised to slow down his activities for about three months before returning to his normal schedule.

Thanks to the medical attention Natan received at North Shore Medical Center, he is looking forward to many more years of health, happiness and rock and roll.