**This is part 1 of 4 of Jeffery Buysse’s story.**
Since Jeffery Buysse and Cary Schneider met in 1991, they have traveled the world together. They even honeymooned in Antarctica in 2016.
But in 2018, Jeff had a medical setback: an irregular heartbeat diagnosed as mitral valve prolapse. He underwent minimally invasive surgery to repair the valve. On doctors’ orders, Jeff improved his diet and exercised more regularly, losing 20 lbs. He was healthy enough that he and Cary did some domestic travel to warm-weather destinations like Palm Springs, Calif., and Savannah, Ga.
In January 2019 Jeff left a meeting at the Akron headquarters of Gojo Industries, where he was vice president of ecommerce, to grab lunch in the cafeteria. But something was off; He needed help getting his credit card from his wallet and he needed someone to point out where the exit was.
Back in the meeting room, Jeff took a call. “All of a sudden, I couldn’t answer a question,” he says. “Soon, my arm felt numb, and my leg felt numb, and I fell out of the chair.”
Paramedics rushed him to the hospital.
Cary, who had been working out at a gym near the couple’s home in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood, hopped in his car after seeing more than 30 missed calls and listening to an ominous voicemail from one of Jeff’s coworkers. He arrived at the hospital in Akron to find Jeff sitting up and talking. Because physicians knew the exact moment of the stroke onset, they gave him the tpA drug. After two nights in the hospital, he went home. He was back at work two weeks later.
Because he was now at higher risk for having a second stroke, Jeff increased his exercise and tweaked his diet again: fewer carbs and more proteins and vegetables. He lost 40 more pounds. He felt good.
Two months later, in the middle of the night, Cary woke up to Jeff’s erratic breathing. “His eyes were wide open, panicked. He couldn’t articulate his words,” Cary says. “I tried to get him to sit up on bed. He fell over on the floor.”
Paramedics arrived and rushed Jeff to MetroHealth Medical Center, less than 10 minutes away.
**Follow along for more of Jeffery's story**
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