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商业 - 科技

战胜中风 重回帅位

Patricia Sellers 2011年09月15日

马宏升当时正在稳步迈向英特尔首席执行官的宝座。春风得意之际,他却突然中风,身体瘫痪,还丧失了语言能力。凭着永不言弃的精神和过人的毅力,马宏升重新回到了岗位,迎来了新的挑战——整合英特尔中国区业务。

    中风发生的时候大脑局部供血被阻断或严重减少,使得脑组织缺乏氧气和营养物质。几分钟后脑细胞开始死亡。事实上,马宏升当时并非遭受中风而只是短暂性脑缺血(TIA),俗称小中风,血液流动只是暂时中断,并不会导致脑细胞死亡或者终生残疾。但是每次小中风出现都会增加中风的风险,如果不进行防治的话就很容易变成中风。

    马宏升和乔治马上驱车到当地的急救中心。“我中风了,”马宏升对医生说。“你不是中风,”他回忆当时医生回答说。当时医生将他的症状归因于压力过大,最终诊断为偏头痛。

    随着周末到来,马宏升开始感到无助。他没法说服医生。他也不能告诉玛格丽特,担心自己的病情会让她精神崩溃。星期天下午,他感到自己身体恢复正常,可以到斯坦福大学附近的环山路Stanford Dish跑步。于是他带上儿子一同前往,但是这40分钟的慢跑却差点要了他的性命。

    4点左右,马宏升回到家里,觉得头痛欲裂。他告诉乔治,“感觉非常不对劲”。“我走上楼,坐到床上,”他回忆说,“中风就在那一刻发生了”。他倒在床上,看见乔治走进卧室,然后是布里吉特。布里吉特开始放声大哭。马宏升看着天花板,白色的天花板上布满星星。“乔治把我挪到地板上,”他回忆说,“随后救护车来了。之后我就失去了知觉。”

    马宏升的中风导致身体左侧颈动脉血流阻塞,而颈动脉正是大脑左半球供血的主要通道。左半球控制身体右侧的活动,并且对大部分人来说,也控制着语言能力。因此马宏升丧失了语言功能。到了深夜,他认出了玛格丽特。但是他的预后诊断并不确定。医生们不能确定马宏升今后还能不能走路、说话。

    同时,还要考虑对公司的影响。周一,玛格丽特跟欧德宁谈了谈。后者表示他将咨询法律总顾问,决定英特尔是否必须马上公布这一消息;欧德宁说,无论如何,公司都会和她共同宣布这个消息。

    新闻稿的措辞最终变成了一件牵动全家的大事。马宏升年纪最大的女儿瑞秋从英格兰坐飞机赶了回来。她和乔治以及布里吉特并不希望英特尔披露马宏升中风的消息。“你们的爸爸不是小孩子了,”玛格丽特责备说,“命运一直与他为敌,但他从没掩饰过任何事情。”格罗夫曾在大屠杀中幸存并成功击败过癌症,他告诉孩子们,敢于承担是最负责任的方式。马宏升一家决定让当时已经不能说话的马宏升自己决定发言稿的措辞。玛格丽特将新闻稿的草稿放在马宏升面前,问他选择“中风”还是“小中风”,还是完全回避这个细节。马宏升伸出左手无名指,指了指“中风”。

    在斯坦福医院的第一个星期,马宏升的孩子们希望控制探望者的人数。但是马宏升的看法却不一样。“我希望保罗从我的眼神中看到我回归的决心,”马宏升谈到欧德宁时说。当时欧德宁和格罗夫走进病房,马宏升回忆说他们两人“脸色苍白,”,“我当时想‘没事。我还是我!’”他补充说,“我可以思考,就是不能说话。你知道这是什么感觉吗?实在太糟糕了。”

    马宏升想了很多办法自娱自乐,表达自己的想法。周二,即中风后的48小时,他正在读一本有关中国历史的书。当时玛格丽特拿进来一大堆书,他挑出瑟夫•康拉德的经典作品《黑暗之心》。马宏升用手指指了其中几段让玛格丽特读出来——这些段落正反映了他当时的心情。

    你可以想象那是怎样的心情:沮丧、失望和焦躁。“到了周三还是周四的时候,我开始琢磨‘我怎么才能好起来’,”他回忆说。“我必须恢复到原来的样子。”中风几天之后,马宏升身体右侧的知觉开始恢复。他开始能勉强挤出几个词,其中就包括“现在”这个字眼,这也是医护人员听得最多的一个词。有一次医院对马宏升的活动进行全面监控,结果发现他自己一个人走到医院的另一头去看望他的孩子凯瑟琳。随后马宏升转移到旧金山一个康复机构,按计划他应该待够一个月。但是十天之后,他就回到了帕洛阿尔托的家中。

    A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes brain cells begin to die. In fact, Maloney was not having a stroke at the time but transient ischemic attacks. Commonly known as TIAs, or mini-strokes, they are temporary interruptions of blood flow that don't destroy brain cells or cause permanent disability. But each TIA increases the risk of stroke and warns that one could occur if nothing is done to prevent it.

    Maloney and George drove to a local urgent-care center. "Look, I'm having a stroke," Maloney told the doctor authoritatively. "You're not having a stroke," he recalls the doctor replying. The doctor attributed his symptoms to stress and diagnosed a migraine headache.

    As the weekend progressed, Maloney felt helpless. He couldn't convince the doctor. He couldn't tell Margaret, for fear that another medical emergency would send her over the edge. Sunday afternoon he felt normal enough to run the Stanford Dish, a hilly loop near the university. He kept up with his son that day, but the 40-minute jog did him in.

    Around 4 o'clock, Sean was home with an awful headache and feeling "really weird," he told George. "I went up and sat on my bed," he recalls, "and the stroke happened." He fell back. He saw George walk into the bedroom, and then Brigid, crying. He saw the ceiling, white and full of stars. "George laid me down on the floor," he recalls. "Then there was the ambulance. Then I don't know."

    Maloney's stroke resulted from a clot in his left carotid artery, the main supplier of blood to the brain's left hemisphere. The left hemisphere controls movement in the right side of the body and, for most people, speech as well. So Maloney couldn't talk. By midnight he recognized Margaret. But his prognosis was uncertain. The doctors didn't know whether Maloney would ever walk or talk again.

    Meanwhile, there was business to take care of. On Monday, Margaret spoke to Otellini, who said he would ask his general counsel whether Intel had to disclose the news immediately; in any case, he said, the company would work with her on the announcement.

    The art of the press release became a family affair. Oldest daughter Rachel flew in from England. She and George and Brigid didn't want Intel to disclose that their dad had had a stroke. "Your dad is not a child," Margaret chided, adding, "The odds have always been against him, and he has never sugarcoated anything." Grove, who survived the Holocaust and detailed his own cancer battle in Fortune in 1996, told the kids that being "upfront" is the responsible way to go. The family decided to let the man who could not speak decide what language to use in the release. Holding a draft in front of him, Margaret asked Sean to choose "stroke" or "minor stroke" or leave out the detail. With his left index finger, Sean pointed to "stroke."

    During his first week in Stanford Hospital, Maloney's kids wanted to keep visitors at bay. But he had a different opinion. "I wanted Paul to see in my eyes that I would be back," he says of Otellini. When the Intel chief and Grove came in looking "appropriately white," Maloney recalls, "I was thinking, 'It's okay! It's me!' " He adds, "I have no problem thinking, but I can't speak. Do you know what that's like? That's terrible."

    Maloney devised various ways to entertain and express himself. By Tuesday, 48 hours after the stroke, he was reading a book about Chinese history. When Margaret brought in a pile of books, he picked out Heart of Darkness, the Joseph Conrad classic. Maloney would point his finger at passages for her to read -- passages that reflected his emotions at the moment.

    You can imagine what those emotions were: frustration, anger, impatience. "By Wednesday or Thursday, I was thinking, 'How can I come back?' " he recalls, adding, "I had to get back." A few days after the stroke, the right side of his body came back to life. One of the first words he was able to croak out was "now," which the hospital staff started to hear -- a lot. One time the hospital issued an APB to locate Maloney. He had made his way all the way to another wing to visit baby Catherine. When he moved to a rehab facility in San Francisco, he was supposed to stay a month. Ten days later he was heading home to Palo Alto.

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