LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)– Dr. Steven James Snatic has had experience as the medical professional and the patient in his 40+ year career.

Dr. Snatic says his most memorable experience was when he discovered he wanted to practice neurological medicine as an intern.

“I was assigned to discharge a patient. They asked me to do the paper work. I decided I was going to examine him. I found things they didn’t record in the records. After that I said I could do this,” he told News Ten.

After nearly 50 years of helping patients, Dr. Snatic became a patient himself. He suffered a stroke nearly three years ago.

“We went outside then all of a sudden my entire left side was getting numb. All of that lasted about 12 seconds.”

That 12-second experience led to a life-saving decision. Tests revealed that Dr. Snatic had a stroke in the right side of his brain due to a carotid artery. After this discovery, Dr. Snatic made the decision to undergo a minimally invasive surgery that would prevent future strokes.

Dr. Snatic says although choosing to have the operation was the best decision, his motive behind the decision was personal. His grandfather suffered a stroke that left him bedridden for for nearly 20 years.

Dr. Snatic says anyone is vulnerable to having a stroke. However, we are all also responsible for preventing it. He says things like quitting smoking, healthy eating, getting exercise and following your doctors orders are the most effective.