GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Rockford man will be discharged from the hospital after suffering from a stroke while doctors operated on a brain tumor that is commonly found in children and rare in adults.
Dino Baskovic was first diagnosed with a glioma, type of tumor that starts in the glial cells of the brain or the spine, in 2008. Baskovic first realized something was wrong when he began suffering from mild seizures solely in his right arm.
"What I experienced for many years would just feel like a very direct, like pins and needles feeling going from the elbow down to the hand. My arm would just stiffen a bit, and that's really it. So that would last for maybe a minute or two, and then it would go away," said Baskovic.
Doctors went searching for the cause and found the tumor, which may have developed when he was a child, according to some of his doctors. Surgery was performed to remove the tumor along with chemo and radiation.
Fast forward to summer of 2020, Baskovic began experiencing the same pins and needles sensation but it progressively became worse. His wife pleaded with him to see a doctor, discovering the tumor had reoccurred.
Surgeons at Helen Devos Children's Hospital performed the operation, due to the fact that it was a tumor most known to children. While on the operating table, he suffered a stroke. It originally resulted in him losing control of his right side, particularly in his right arm. He struggled to move and walk with those extremities.
Two weeks ago, Baskovic was transferred to Mary Free Bed to continue his recovery. When he was admitted, he motivated himself 110%. His therapists say he asked them for more therapy, in turn he received an additional hour per day. It's a request many patients wouldn't make or wouldn't be able to handle.
"I think what makes Dino so unique from even your average patient is he came in so motivated. He was like, 'I am ready to do this. Whatever you want me to do, I will do it,'" said Physical Therapist Alexis Cherven.
Sherven developed a therapy plan to help Baskovic learn to walk again and use the stairs so he can make it to his master bedroom when he gets home. It's the two accomplishments she called "milestones" in his recovery process.
"That was a pretty cool turning point in his recovery,knowing that he can sleep where he wants to sleep at home, and he can be next to his wife - Just things that a lot of us take for granted," said Sherven.
When Baskovic is discharged on Monday, he plans to get a Shamrock Shake from McDonald's and see his two daughters for the first time since his admission into the hospital. They couldn't visit due to COVID-19 restrictions.
He also plans to return to his weekly podcast 'Dino after Dark.' With time, he also plans to go back to the "funnest job" as a Sports Program Director at the Belmont YMCA.