In September 2021, Rafael was 86 years old and living alone independently. On September 18th, he was found unconscious on the street. He was brought in by EMS and NIHSS was 18 (a moderate to severe stroke). A CTA was done showing a left M2 occlusion, a clot in a large vessel in his brain. Dr. Thanh Nguyen successfully removed the clot with significant improvement in the flow of blood to his brain.

He went to rehab after his hospitalization for 2 months to recover. He now is back to living in his home with a PCA. His daughter says they are very happy with his results after his stroke. He has had a remarkable recovery. NIHSS has improved from 18 initially to 4 at his 6 month follow up appointment.