State Sen. Ranker resting at home after transient ischemic attack

State Sen. Kevin Ranker ... resting at home after a transient ischemic attack - File photo
State Sen. Kevin Ranker ... resting at home after a transient ischemic attack
— image credit: File photo

State Sen. Kevin Ranker is resting at home this week after being hospitalized for a transient ischemic attack.

Ranker, 39, was flown off-island to St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham Saturday morning. He was released Sunday.

Ranker canceled a talk at The Whale Museum Tuesday and postponed the open house for his new district office in Anacortes Thursday.

However, he quipped Monday, “The rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated.”

Ranker said he woke up Saturday morning at home to pain in his chest. His wife, Dr. Tina Torri, recommended they have medics check him out.

Medics decided to transfer him to St. Joseph Hospital.

Ranker said doctors told him he suffered a transient ischemic attack, which is caused by a temporary loss of blood to the brain. The attack can cause symptoms similar to a stroke.

Ranker said doctors told him that within a week or two he’d be back to normal and wouldn’t have any lasting symptoms.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a transient ischemic attack is like a stroke, producing similar symptoms, but usually lasting only a few minutes and causing no permanent damage. Often called a ministroke, a transient ischemic attack may be a warning. About one in three people who have a transient ischemic attack eventually has a stroke, with about half occurring within a year after the transient ischemic attack.

A transient ischemic attack can serve as both a warning and an opportunity — a warning of an impending stroke and an opportunity to take steps to prevent it.

Ranker said he’s pretty healthy — he’s an avid surfer and belongs to a gym — but he called the incident a “wake-up call.”

“I’m still pretty active. I walk to work most days in Olympia.”

Ranker praised the EMTs and paramedics that assisted him. “Our medics are amazing. Very kind, very thoughtful and very professional.”

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