Endovascular neurologist Dr. Wondwossen Tekle this summer joined a team at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen where he is conducting emergency stroke procedures.
Tekle became part of a team of neurologists in July and specializes in neurology, stroke and cerebrovascular diseases, neurocritical care and neuro-intervention.
Tekle received his medical degree at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, completed his residency at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and completed two fellowships at the University of Minnesota. He has also served as a U.S. Peace Corps medical officer and worked with UNICEF, the United Nations program that provides humanitarian and developmental assistance to children.
At Valley Baptist, Tekle and his counterpart, Dr. Ameer E. Hassan, perform emergency stroke procedures, brain aneurism procedures and conduct research and more.
Together, Tekle said the duo is the only pair of physicians in the Rio Grande Valley qualified to perform endovascular neurology procedures.
“My colleague, Dr. Ameer Hassan, is the first one to come to the Valley. He came here and saw the degree and burden of the disease, and he needed help because obviously he can’t be on call 24/7, 365 days a year,” Tekle said.
“Given the prevalence of stroke and vascular diseases he basically invited me to come down here and interview. He needed help because he was overwhelmed, and so I came down to work with him.”
While Tekle enjoys his work as a surgeon, he says the most rewarding part of his job is seeing the impact his work can have on patient’s lives.
He delivered a “Mini-Stroke” presentation at the hospital this past week to about 100 local residents concerned about the risk of stroke.
At a presentation, Tekle spoke of a patient who had a severe stroke who was recovering well, despite the statistical odds.
“The guy was deeply comatose when he came in,” he said. “It’s an interesting story, he had the stroke across the border and he was transported over by his relatives and they called 911.
“We took him to the CAT (scan) lab and I was able to take out the clot, and the guy is alive. He is walking today in the ICU. He is moving everything and talking and following commands.
“He made my day.”