HIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) - A former NFL player got the opportunity to thank the people who saved his life, nearly one year after he suffered a stroke.
After 51-year-old Brett Perriman nearly lost his life, he and his family expressed their gratitude to the first responders and medical staff who rushed to his aid.
“I’m sure you don’t know me, but we did something with your head,” one doctor told Perriman as he shook his patient’s hand.
“We didn’t think we would be here, and we didn’t think we would walk into the building with him,” said Brett Perriman Jr., his son.
At a banquet held in Hialeah, Friday morning, Perriman’s loved ones praised the staff’s life-saving actions. “There will never be enough thank-yous from us, but I hope us coming back and staying in contact, they know that what they’re doing is great,” said Perriman Jr.
On May 3, 2016, Perriman, a former wide receiver for the Baltimore Ravens and a Miami Hurricane for four years in the 1980s, suffered a stroke that nearly killed him.
Perriman Jr. remembered the panic he and his family felt at the time. “To have a father who’s young, who’s an ex-NFL player, who’s very healthy, very active, you know, you don’t look for those types of things to happen,” he said.
Paramedics rushed Perriman to Palmetto General Hospital, where doctors and nurses jumped into action to save his life. He was later moved to a hospital in Atlanta for stroke rehabilitation.
Twelve months later, he and his family got to say thank you at the banquet that reunited Perriman with the medical staff that saved him and helped his family.
Perriman Jr. singled one caretaker in particular. “Specifically, nurse Sheila. She had a strength that we didn’t have when we needed it, and I don’t know if she will ever understand the magnitude of what she means to us,” he said.
Strokes are the third leading cause of death in Broward and Miami-Dade counties. It’s also the leading cause of disability in the nation.
“The more people are aware of the time sensitivity and the signs and symptoms, they can truly make an impact to either their neighbor or their family members,” said Julie Riley, neurosciences administrator at Tenet Healthcare in Florida.
Health officials want Friday’s reunion to remind people that time matters, and the quicker they take action, the better of a chance they have to attend a reunion like Perriman’s.
“A year ago, this emotion was a little less happy, but today, it’s a good space,” said Perriman Jr. “I’m proud of everybody and just happy to be here, happy to have my father, and I’m happy to have my family.”
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