25-year-old veteran who suffered stroke had 'miracle' recovery

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
Justin Grimes with his three sons.

Justin Grimes had just finished dinner Sept. 27, 2018, with his wife and three sons. 

Without warning though, Grimes, 25, suddenly collapsed and was unable to stand. His wife could see what was happening and quickly reacted — he was suffering a severe stroke.

Despite fears that he wouldn't walk or talk again, with doctors saying he had a 50-50 chance for surviving, Grimes, of Red Lion, was up and walking six days later.

"I didn't know what was going on," Grimes said. "It's a miracle."

Though Grimes doesn't remember much of the incident, he remembers being awake for much of the surgery. 

Doctors had to insert a stent in his neck to remove the blood clot in his brain. 

Justin Grines suffered a stroke on Sept. 27, 2018. Doctors were amazed with his speedy recovery.

Grant Sorkin, a physician with WellSpan York Hospital, was one of the surgeons who saved Grimes. 

WellSpan's emergency department doubles as a comprehensive stroke center. That fact probably contributed to Grimes' recovery, Sorkin said. 

"At these stroke centers, we're able to diagnose a stroke in an expeditious fashion, and then we can treat them both medically and surgically with state-of-the-art technology," Sorkin said.

Though Grimes is only 25, he said he has a rare medical disease called Takayasu’s arteritis, which has recently been linked to strokes in people younger than 40, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Despite this, Grimes said his age and involvement in physical activity are what helped his recovery most.

Justin Grimes was stationed in Germany, Lithuania and Hawaii before being medically discharged in April 2016.

"All my doctors were blown away by it," Grimes said. "It's crazy that they were able to work on me so fast."

Grimes, a U.S. Army veteran, served for several years as a specialist before being medically discharged in Hawaii in April 2016.

Grimes served at several military bases in Germany and Lithuania during his time in the Army. He is now employed as a postal service worker in Red Lion.

"There's not a day I don't wake up and say thank you," Grimes said. 

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.