When Elizabeth Rose, a 40-year-old teacher at Monelison Middle School, woke up shortly before 5 am one morning, she had the impression something was pulling at her left arm. She knew immediately something was wrong. Both she and her husband grew alarmed as her speech was impaired.
Her husband, a former EMT, quickly concluded his wife was having a stroke. Knowing time was critical, he drove her to the Centra Lynchburg General Hospital emergency department and within 40 minutes of waking up, she received treatment.
The medical director of stroke who identified a blockage of the main branch of the middle cerebral artery knew it was consistent with her symptom of impaired speech, and performed a thrombectomy.
She credits her doctor with saving her life.
Within 10 minutes of my thrombectomy (the removal of the clot), my speech was coming back," Elizabeth said. "And by the following morning, I was pretty much back at baseline with my speech."
"I passed the speech, occupational, and physical therapists' evaluations with flying colors,” she continued. “They all pretty much say it was a miracle. All the doctors couldn't believe how fast I recovered, and they told me my husband getting me to the hospital so quickly saved me.
Being young with no risk factors, her providers did testing to identify the reason which is how Elizabeth learned she had a Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO). A PFO is a heart condition affecting 25 percent of Americans — most never know they have it. According to the American Heart Association, the prevalence of PFO is about 40 to 50 percent in patients who have a stroke of unknown cause.
To show their appreciation for the excellent medical care and to support the latest interventional stroke therapies, Elizabeth and her husband, Antwan, recently made a Grateful Patient gift in honor of her physician and Elizabeth’s team of Caregivers.