The Stroke Doc is a high-stakes medical drama that takes place in the back of screaming ambulances, in hospital corridors and emergency wards around the world, taking us from Muskoka to Manila, where success is measured by nearly imperceptible changes on an MRI, scrutinized in the middle of the night. And where failure could very well mean the loss of decades of research and tens of millions of dollars. Not to mention setting back the science of stroke drug research yet again.
Is Dr. Tymianski’s drug just another in a long line of failed stroke drugs? Or is he actually on the cusp of the biggest Canadian medical innovation since the discovery of insulin?
The Journey of a Documentary
This documentary followed the last phase of the human drug testing, a near decade long odyssey, of trial and error, of starts and stops, of pivots and perfections, of losses and gains.
Accompanying Dr. Tymianski on the final leg of this long journey were dozens of different directors, story editors and editors, each passing a chapter like a baton to the next, until finally the documentary made it over the finish line. There from start to finish was filmmaker Stuart Coxe, who, in the end, became the voice of a story, since he knew it so well. Documentaries are always fraught projects that often suffer their own pivots and setbacks, and this project was no different. What was supposed to take a year to tell, stretched into nine (and there is still another chapter to write!)
Interview with the Filmmaker,
President, Antica Productions
Stuart Coxe has been a journalist, filmmaker and producer for the past 30 years. Recent credits include executive producing "Captive" (Yorkton Grand Prize Winner, 2021) and "Spirit to Soar" (Hot Docs Audience Award Winner, 2021). He also produced "Secret Path", "Secret Path in Concert" and "Finding the Secret Path," the last three film projects of Gord Downie. Earlier in his career, he was executive producer of CBC's The National, and he started and ran "Dragons' Den" on CBC for its first 3 seasons. His company, Antica Productions, is now one of North America's largest podcast studios.