Pam's story of how brain aneurysm treatment at a Primary Stroke Center and then Comprehensive Stroke Center saved her life
Pam Ivery, hospital employee, Miami resident
After setting up lunch, I had this bad headache that hit me really hard. I could feel the blood running down through my head and my ears felt stuffed up. Everything looked so grey. I began to walk downstairs but couldn’t make it so I went into the elevator. Luckily, I work at North Shore Medical Center, a certified primary stroke center. A doctor was in the elevator with me and asked me if I was OK and then told me to come to the emergency room. All I can remember is that my head hurt so bad, it felt like it was going to burst open. Then, my neck began to hurt. I was in pain, but I could see everyone and hear them talking.
The medical staff at the hospital quickly ordered a CAT scan. I was told that I had a brain aneurysm and it burst inside my head. When I heard the news, I got scared and began to cry, which caused my blood pressure to go up. The staff asked me to calm down and I listened. Due to the severity of my aneurysm, an ambulance was called for an emergency transfer to Palmetto General Hospital’s Comprehensive Stroke Center.
Next thing I remember is waking up at Palmetto General Hospital under the care of Dr. Ritesh Kaushal. Dr. Kaushal is the medical director of the stroke center at the hospital and an interventional neurologist on staff at the Miami-Dade Neuroscience Institute. Through a neurology intervention, Dr. Kaushal removed the aneurysm. He said the thing which caused my aneurysm to burst was stress that had built up.
The only thing I had after the removal of the aneurysm was a few little headaches. I stayed in the hospital for two days and mostly slept. Today, I have tears when I talk about it because I’m so happy to be alive. I tell everyone, “I’m a miracle!”
After I recovered from the procedure, I went to Dr. Kaushal’s office at the Miami-Dade Neuroscience Institute in the medical building adjacent to the hospital in Hialeah. When I saw Dr. Kaushal, I ran up and hugged him. I told him, you don’t know how happy I am with you for saving my life. I told him he’s so nice and humble. The Miami-Dade Neuroscience Institute staff at Dr. Kaushal’s office is very nice and polite. They’re so sweet and nice, and they get you in and out of the office in a timely fashion which is so important with todays fast pace life
I finished off the prescription they gave me at the hospital and Dr. Kaushal said from that point on I wouldn’t need to take any medication.
I tell people today that stress and pressure can lead to a brain aneurysm. Thinking back, I did have a series of minor headaches a few months and even days before the big headache. I’m not totally sure that’s what caused the aneurysm, but that’s my guess.
When I’m not working, I enjoy playing with my grandson. I’m happy to be alive. I don’t think until you experience something like this that you really understand, I could be here today and gone tomorrow.
This testimonial reflects results achieved by this patient. Each case must be independently evaluated and managed.