Fast, Specialized Stroke Care Leaves Linda Bond With No Side Effects
Linda Bond (right) awoke to the smell of brewing coffee. As she rose from bed to get a cup, she couldn’t stand on her own and had to lean against her nightstand for balance. Then she fell to the floor. She was having a stroke.
“I felt trapped because I couldn’t talk or move my right arm,” says Bond, 58, of Nesquehoning. Her boyfriend – who was downstairs – came to her aid, recognized the symptoms and quickly called 911.
An ambulance crew rushed Bond directly to Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest, a Comprehensive Stroke Center. It’s a certification that recognizes the advanced education of staff and specialized dedicated resources available 24/7 to treat complex stroke patients.
At the hospital, a Stroke Alert ensured all members of the stroke team – including Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) neurologist Adam Edwards, MD, with Lehigh Neurology – were awaiting Bond’s arrival.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel becomes blocked and prevents blood from supplying the brain with oxygen. When this occurs, patients need treatment as quickly as possible. “For every second blood flow is blocked, 30,000 brain cells die,” Edwards says.
Imaging tests at the hospital discovered a large clot in Bond’s left carotid artery, which supplies the brain with blood. “Some patients suffering a stroke are treated with the clot-busting drug tPA,” Edwards says. However, it must be administered within three hours of the onset of symptoms. In Bond’s case, time of onset wasn’t known because the stroke might have started while she was asleep.
Instead, the stroke team chose angiography, removal of the clot from Bond’s artery. “We used a wire mesh stent in the catheter to grab the clot,” says LVHN neurointerventional radiologist Darryn Shaff, MD, with Medical Imaging of Lehigh Valley, PC. “The catheter also sucked out the clot like a vacuum to prevent pieces from breaking off and getting lodged in the brain.”
The procedure started within 55 minutes of Bond’s arrival at the hospital, well below the 120-minute “national target.” Only 28 minutes after the start of the procedure, the clot was removed, restoring blood flow to Bond’s brain.
Three hours after the procedure, Bond was walking and talking to her family. She suffered no brain damage or side effects. “I didn’t think I would come back whole, but I feel better now than I did before the stroke,” she says. “God put me in the hands of people who can perform miracles.”