Heading out to dinner with her mother, Karen felt a headache coming on. After dinner, they went for coffee and that's when the headache transformed into something more ominous.
“I couldn't see on my right-hand side; I could only see left,” Karen said. “I missed the turnoff to get the coffee and decided that I better go home.”
Fortunately, Karen's neighbors stopped by the next day. They found her in bad shape, unable to even sit up, and immediately called Hallandale Beach Fire Rescue. While en route to the hospital, the paramedics contacted Memorial's stroke hotline. Based on her severe neurological impairment, a stroke alert was called.
At Memorial Regional Hospital, a CT scan of her brain revealed Karen had suffered a stroke, with a significant blockage of her carotid artery. Under the direction of Brijesh P. Mehta, MD, Medical Director, Stroke and Neurocritical Care at Memorial Neuroscience Institute, Karen underwent an emergent mechanical thrombectomy that successfully opened her artery. The procedure was performed within 60 minutes of her arrival at Memorial, often deemed the “golden hour” for acute stroke care.
“At seven days, I woke up and stretched and went, ‘Yahoo! I’m free,’” Karen said. “I was able to move everything. It was amazing. I had the best care ever, right from the get-go.”
Her stroke care team was also feeling pretty good.
“Each time we see an artery open up, it's unbelievable, the personal satisfaction that we get,” said Dr. Mehta. “There's no other feeling that can match that, in terms of a good outcome for the patient.”