All Patient Stories

Thomas’ Stroke Story

Jun 12, 2019

On the Opposite Side of Care

Thomas GrierAs a clinician, our patient Thomas Grier knew the signs of a stroke. But, never did he imagine, he would experience those symptoms himself.

“I was at home and my wife was out of state traveling. That night I was up to midnight and was watching TV, when I noticed I couldn’t feel my arm. I knew I was having a stroke,” he said.

Soon after, Thomas was in the care of the Vestavia Fire Department and he shared with them his desire to go to Brookwood.

“I was taken directly to CT and was given the diagnosis. The staff along with Dr. Hector Caballero gave me tPA within the timeframe and now, I am fully recovered,” he shared.

For stroke patients, Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is given via intravenous therapy (IV) and works by dissolving the clot and improving blood flow to the part of the brain being deprived.

The team at Brookwood administered tPA and Thomas shared that the nurse saw it working before he did. “She told me I had moved my arm. Soon after I was able to stand and I didn’t have any weakness whatsoever.”

After looking at everything, Thomas shared doctors believed his stroke was linked to his long bout with high blood pressure. He said it is important for everyone to know the signs of a stroke because every second counts when a person those symptoms are happening because a person is losing blood flow to their brain.  

Thomas is a registered nurse who worked four years at a hospital in Tuscaloosa, so he has seen care from both sides and had this to say about the staff.

“This is by far the most caring and accommodating staff I have ever encountered,” he said. “They told me everything that was about to happen, communicated it well and took great care of me.”

Since suffering his stroke in September 2018, Thomas said he is recovering well. Aside from some initial memory issues and trouble finding the right words, he shares he is now doing well and back to his normal quality of life.

“I have to share that my faith in God helped me so much throughout this experience, He (God) was the principle architect in making sure everything went smoothly and I couldn’t say anything else without giving Him all the credit,” he said.

Originally from Bibb County, Thomas has been in healthcare for 34 years. He is now in hospice care and lives in the Vestavia area with his wife.

Thomas was intentional in his gratitude and said, “Thank you Brookwood Baptist Medical Center and Dr. Hector Caballero!”

To learn more about stroke services at Brookwood Baptist, please visit