At 10 p.m. on May 13, 2020, I was ready to go to bed, but my husband, Dick, convinced me to stay up a little longer. He was the first angel that came to my aid. (My doctor said if I had gone to bed, I probably would have died in my sleep.)
After watching television for a few minutes, my husband told me later that when he spoke to me and I didn’t answer, he immediately knew something was wrong and called 911.
My second angels, the EMT personnel, arrived within 10 minutes after the call, because they were already in our area. They asked what hospital I wanted to go to, I could no longer speak, but nodded my head to go to Haywood Regional Medical Center.
The angels were there in the Emergency Room at Haywood where I was immediately taken for a Cat Scan of the brain. I found out later that they found a massive blood clot in the speech and memory center of my brain. The clot was too large to be treated with TPA, the clot busting drug, but due to Mission Hospital’s community partnership with Haywood, I was immediately transported to Mission Hospital’s Stroke Center where the greatest surgical team in the world was waiting for me, with Dr. Jonas Goldstein at the helm.
They rushed me into OR at 2 a.m. where they performed a neuro-thrombectomy. That is a surgical procedure where, guided by X-ray technology, they insert a catheter into the aorta and guide it into the area of the brain where the clot is located. The catheter they use for this has small surgical instruments attached to the end of it that are used to remove the clot.
After this procedure, I was in ICU for three days. The first couple of days I was not making much sense verbally and did not realize how grave my situation had been. By the third day I was speaking normally again and was aware of what I had been through. When the neurologist, Dr. Alexander Schneider, came into my room he called me “The Miracle Patient.” I thanked him for going to medical school and he replied with the greatest humility, “No, I’m just a small part of a great team. God is the one to thank. He is the healer.”
I have been doing exactly that every day of my remarkable recovery. I have no residual problems of any kind. I will continue to pray and thank God for guiding my husband, the hands of all the doctors, nurses, EMT drivers and everyone that was a part of my healing. They are the reason, with God’s help, I am able to communicate and have maintained my lifetime for memories.
What better time than this season of wonder, hope and new birth to be aware of all the goodness around us and be eternally grateful for the true gifts we have been given.