A Miracle Finish: Terry’s Race Against Stroke

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Terry Baum, a lifelong resident of Grantsville, Utah, Baum and his wife Karla have been married for 50 years. Terry grew up in an auto racing family that would pack the living room for Sunday races, and he raced Ford stock cars and worked as an auto mechanic for 45 years.

He only gave up the racing and sold his stock car because his oldest son started to take an interest in it when he turned 16, which made Terry nervous. And he only retired from working as a mechanic because he developed tremors in his hands that made the work too difficult.

But in summer of 2022, Terry was prepared to wave the red flag.

He and Karla were making a pit stop while following the NASCAR circuit to celebrate a family member’s retirement in Florida when Terry had his first mini stroke. Doctors there told him to go back home for treatment because they were not able to fix the problem. Then doctors in Utah gave him the same answer: There was nothing they could do.

“That made me feel worthless. It really did,” Terry said. “I got sick enough that I was miserable and sort of selfish. My wife and family dug in and fought every day, but I think at the end I was ready to give up.”

Terry had a condition called intracranial stenosis in his basilar artery, or a severe narrowing of the main artery supplying blood to the back of his brain. That part of the brain controls heart and lung function, level of consciousness and more, and a major stroke there is life-threatening.

After visiting with doctors, a CT scan showed a severe blockage in Terry’s basilar artery, and because there were no other medications to try, it was proposed that a stent placement surgery would reopen the artery. It’s a delicate and risky procedure, but one that Qureshi and Gomez helped develop and have successfully performed at MU Health Care many times.

Following several mini strokes and a successful surgery, Terry was discharged for rehab a few miles away from University Hospital at Rusk Rehabilitation Hospital, an affiliate of Encompass Health and MU Health Care. Five days a week for two weeks, MU Health Care doctors helped him regain his strength, speech and other daily functions with a personalized recovery plan before he returned home.


To read more about Terry’s race against stroke, visit MUHealth https://www.muhealth.org/our-stories/miracle-finish-terrys-race-against-stroke.

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