ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – Barnes-Jewish St. Peters is the only hospital in St. Charles County that performs a life-saving stroke procedure.

Bob Chilson, 71, of Lake St. Louis, said he is alive because the hospital is close to his home. The hospital is a stroke center and has a team of specialists offering the latest advancement for the rapid treatment of stroke.

In November 2021, Chilson had a stroke while he was sleeping. That morning, he had slept longer than usual. His wife Marcia, a retired health care professional, got worried and tried to wake him.

“I said, ‘Are you okay? And he couldn’t talk. He wanted to talk, but he could not get the words out at all. So I knew instantly it was a stroke,'” said Marcia.

She called 911, and paramedics rushed Chilson to Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital, where experts identified a large blockage in his middle cerebral artery in the brain.

“With those patients, we know they have a severe chance of disability and one of the highest chances of death,” said Dr. Drendan Eby, a Washington University neurovascular surgeon at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital.

Quick action by the experts on the interventional team saved Chilson’s life. Doctors performed a thrombectomy, a minimally invasive procedure where the surgeon, under image guidance, inserted a catheter into Chilson’s blood vessel, guided it to his brain, grabbed the clot, and pulled it out.

“As soon as we woke him up, we noticed a dramatic difference. He was moving. He was talking better,” said Eby.

Chilson spent just two nights in the hospital.

“I didn’t lose anything, speech or memory. Everything is the same,” Chilson said.

Having thrombectomies available at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital in St. Charles County is critical because area stroke patients no longer need to travel to another hospital for the procedure, saving them time and possibly their lives.