Sunday, April 11, 2021

Police and Tactical Flight Officer's Story




As an active and healthy police and tactical flight officer, 49-year-old Marc Geiger understands that being a first responder can come with its fair share of stress. So when he started experiencing symptoms of atrial fibrillation in early 2020, Marc knew he needed help.

Marc was mid-flight when he felt nausea and arm pain. After landing, medics determined Marc’s blood pressure was high and brought him to the ER in case of a heart attack. Marc’s doctor originally diagnosed him with thoracic impingement syndrome, meaning that some of his blood vessels could have been compressed - likely from a prior shoulder surgery - causing his arm pain and nausea. Marc brushed it off and continued his life.

About a month later, Marc was on another routine flight when he experienced his next incident. He recalled being frustrated as he tried to radio the communications center, “I knew what I wanted to say, but I just couldn’t get the words out. My speech was delayed, and my partner knew something was wrong,” said Marc. He doesn’t remember being taken out of the helicopter by the medics.

Back at the hospital, Marc’s doctors began neurological tests. After days of exams, the official diagnosis came in – Marc had experienced a transient ischemic attack (TIA), which is a ‘mini-stroke’ that lasts only a few minutes. His doctors talked with him about next steps.

Finding peace of mind – and Atrial Fibrillation

After identifying the TIA, Marc’s physician was concerned he might have atrial fibrillation (AF), a common condition in which the upper chambers of the heart beat very fast and irregularly. As a result, blood is not pumped effectively to the rest of the body and may pool and clot. If a clot dislodges, it can travel to the brain and result in a stroke. AF increases the risk of stroke more than five times, but it often goes undetected since it can happen infrequently and without symptoms.

Marc’s physician recommended he receive a Medtronic LINQ IITM insertable cardiac monitor (ICM). LINQ II is a small, wireless ICM for patients at increased risk of abnormal heart rhythms. The device is one-third the size of a AAA battery, placed just beneath the skin in a minimally invasive procedure. By continuously monitoring the heart, LINQ II gives physicians relevant data to help diagnose and define treatment for underlying, infrequent heart conditions like AF.

With the LINQ II ICM continuously monitoring Marc’s heart, he finds peace of mind knowing his physician is recording the data to ultimately figure out next steps for treatment. He feels confident that his LINQ II device will help unlock even more answers to his heart health.

To learn more about ICM’s, visit

Sunday, April 4, 2021




Georgia has been a valuable, active member of Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp since it's beginning. She has also participated in many other of United Stroke Alliance's activities, especially as an active volunteer at our camps.
Now take a look at Georgia’s story.

My husband, Larry and I attended the first stroke camp in 2004 as a stroke survivor and caregiver. We enjoyed the camaraderie of being with other survivors and caregivers. It was a phenomenal life changing weekend. The next year we volunteered so we could encourage other survivors and caregivers. The difference I saw in my husband after one of those weekends showed that his life had a purpose. We decided this was our new mission in life. We took a negative experience of Larry’s stroke and made it a positive.

After my family saw our enthusiasm for camp, it quickly became a family affair. In 2008 our youngest daughter, Cheri, joined the staff of volunteers and experienced how camp impacted our lives. Even though Larry is not with us anymore, another daughter and her daughter (our granddaughter) have started volunteering at camps too. In addition, my son-in-law serves as President for the Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp Advisory Board. One life changing weekend led to three generations of volunteers.

Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp is a family mission that has improved all of our lives. We continue volunteering in Larry’s honor because we hope that other stroke survivors and caregivers will find joy, fulfillment, and a purpose as well. Larry would be very proud of our family and pleased to know of the growing list campers who attend camp.

At the end of a camp weekend I am exhausted but inspired and proud that I have the opportunity to share and give hope to at least one attendee, if not many more. I go home grateful for this opportunity.
Editor's Note: If you are curious about camp, go to and look toward the top right of your screen and you'll see printed in red: What Goes On At Camp, Camp Preparation, Day One At Camp, Day Two At Camp and Day Three At Camp.