RHINELANDER - Doctors with a particular specialty can be hard to find here in the Northwoods.
For patients having a stroke, that can be a scary thought.
Rhinelander's Bill Roesler woke up to a normal day in late March.
He got up, did some chores, made coffee, and let the dog out.
"I did what I usually do, I went and laid back in bed, laying on my back. All of a sudden, the whole arm just went numb. Just instantaneously," Roesler says. "Then when the left leg didn't start - wasn't cooperating, was dragging - I knew that something was wrong."
It was a stroke.
Bill's wife rushed him to the Emergency Room at Ministry St. Mary's in Rhinelander.
Within 10 minutes, Bill had taken the preliminary stroke tests.
But there was no stroke expert scheduled at that time.
So he became the first-ever Rhinelander patient to use TeleStroke.
"We'll then start using the camera and start asking the patient to do certain things. We'll start examining them, and see if the clinical signs we're seeing on the camera correlate to the ischemic stroke process," says Neurologist / Neurointensivist Dr. Jesse Corry.
Over a video connection, Corry in Marshfield determined Bill needed medication administered in Rhinelander right away.
He also needed to come to Ministry St. Joseph's in Marshfield.
That's where he got the full stroke treatment and now is back to feeling well.
But if Bill had needed to travel all the way to Marshfield before seeing a specialist, things might have turned out differently.
"Here in a northern community, up here there are smaller hospitals, nobody around here has a neurologist on staff 24/7, to have a big hospital like Marshfield, have this available," says Roesler. "It's the medicine of the future."
Bill will again become a pioneer in this TeleStroke technology with his follow-up and recovery going forward.
SAYNER - A needle and thread means more to Pat Andersen than just sewing.
"I started quilting when I was 19 so it's been a passion of mine for a long time," said Pat.
Quilting gives her a community of ladies in the Northwoods.
"Sayner needs something like this, it needs something for the women to do," said Pat.
After moving to Sayner with her husband Don last spring, the two decided to buy the building that now houses Plum Lake Quilts. Pat needed somewhere to put her long arm machine and that eventually turned into a little retail business.
"I mean little and then it grew a little bit and it grew a little bit more," said Don Andersen.
RHINELANDER - Cancer survivors and supporters gathered at Ministry St. Mary's Hospital for the 10th annual Celebration of Life Thursday. The event honors those battling cancer or survivors of cancer and shows people what kinds of services the James Beck Cancer Center offers.
The center's namesake lost his life to cancer, but now others will be able to benefit from his gift to the hospital.
"With his vision and his dollars we were able to put this cancer center here in Rhinelander so patients don't have to travel to larger cities," said Director of Cancer Services Kimberly Hetland.
This year's speaker was Mike Regole, a survivor of tonsil cancer. He spoke about his experience at the center, how family and support affected his journey, and how he ran a business while having cancer.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - On a busy stretch of Highway 47 near Lac du Flambeau -- where hundreds of wheels spin at 55 miles-per-hour each day -- just one tire drags at a slower pace, pulled by one man: the Tire Man.
"I guess I'm the only one nutty enough to do it, I suppose," Frank Tarantino said with a laugh.
Tarantino lives in Mercer, but trains for marathons in Lac du Flambeau. He started pulling a tire on a chain a few years ago after reading about it in a fitness magazine. People often stop to take his picture.
"Little by little you run a little further, a little further," Tarantino said.
MADISON - A $3 billion tax break bill for Taiwan-based electronics giant Foxconn Technology Group is poised to pass the Wisconsin Assembly on a bipartisan vote.
Democratic state Rep. Cory Mason said during debate Thursday that he intends to vote for the bill. He is the first Democrat to publicly say he will back the measure that is being championed by Gov. Scott Walker and fellow Republicans.
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