JUPITER, Fla. — A Delray Beach high school teacher who suffered a stroke got a chance to thank the people who saved his life.
Village Academy biology teacher Steven Weber met with the neuro-interventional radiologist, Dr. Juan Gomez, and other health-care professionals Thursday at Jupiter Medical Center, handing out awards to each person who played a part in his recovery.
"He's my hero," Weber said of Gomez.
Neighbors found Weber, 69, on the ground in the yard of his Jupiter home and called 911. Palm Beach County paramedics rushed Weber to Jupiter Medical Center, where Gomez performed an emergency thrombectomy, saving Weber's life.
Palm Beach County Fire Rescue was one of the agencies Weber thanked, saying without their efforts — and the hospital staff — he wouldn't be here today.
"Here I am, because of them, not me," Weber said. "They did all the work and saved my life and got me to where I am now."
The reunion comes just ahead of world stroke day this Saturday. Gomez said when someone suffers a stroke, every second counts, and he encourages the community to know the signs and symptoms of a stroke.
"This is the reason why we do what we do," Gomez said. "When we see results like this, it gets us to work even harder."
Weber said he hopes by sharing his story, others will be inspired to know the warning signs.
Gomez said strokes can happen to anyone, at any age, and globally. He said one in four adults over the age of 25 will have a stroke in their lifetime.
He said an easy acronym to remember the signs and symptoms is BEFAST:
B - Loss of balance
E - Loss of vision in Eyes
F - Face Drooping
A - Arm Weakness
S - Speech
T - Time to Call 911.