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HELPED BY DRUGS

Prompt treatment with a clot-busting drug may have helped put author Ken Kesey on the road to a strong recovery from the stroke he suffered last week.

The wife of the 62-year-old author of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" said he is able to walk around and has regained much of the use of his right arm, which went numb during Thursday's stroke.

"I almost wish it had scared him a little more than it did," Faye Kesey said Monday from her husband's room at Sacred Heart Medical Center.

Doctors decided to give Kesey a drug known as t-PA, or recombinant tissue plasminogen activator.

"Within an hour of taking this drug, he started getting his fingers back," Mrs. Kesey said. "Before the night was over, he could grasp. Now he can lift his arm. They consider he will either have a full recovery or come very close to it. It's a miracle drug."

About one in 20 stroke patients can receive t-PA. Those receiving it have about a 30 percent better outcome than other patients, said Dr. Raymond Englander, a neurologist at Sacred Heart.

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