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Stroke

It started as a typical weekday morning. Tina, a mother of two from Lancaster, Ohio, was getting herself ready for work and her children ready for school. When she pulled her shirt down over her head, she heard a "ting" sound and felt like somebody had smashed her in the head with a baseball bat. She tried lying down, but something inside told her to get up and go to the emergency room.

After dropping her kids off at school, Tina went to the local ER, where they performed a CAT scan and observed dangerous bleeding on her brain. Within 20 minutes, Tina was being rushed by ambulance to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for emergency brain surgery.

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THE ANEURYSM ALMOST KILLED HER

"I'd never heard of an aneurysm, until it happened to me."

Tina suffered a brain aneurysm, which is a bulging, weak area in the wall of a blood vessel or artery that supplies blood to the brain. Tina's aneurysm was only slightly leaking when she went to her local ER. Within an hour, however, that aneurysm ruptured, releasing a deadly amount of blood into Tina's skull, causing her to have a stroke.

Many people who suffer a ruptured aneurysm, also known as a subarachnoid hemorrhage, either die or experience long-term brain damage, depending on the severity of the hemorrhage. Fortunately, Tina was in the talented hands of Ohio State's neurosurgery experts—and in one of Ohio's most advanced neurosurgical suites.

LUCKILY, SHE WAS IN EXPERT HANDS

Thanks to the quick thinking of the local ER, Tina was in surgery at Ohio State's Wexner Center less than one hour after arriving at the first hospital. As Dr. Ciaran Powers worked to stop the bleeding in her brain, he discovered that Tina actually had five aneurysms.

It was Dr. Powers's fast response and expert surgical treatment that quickly repaired the ruptured brain aneurysm and stabilized Tina—not only saving her live, but preventing her from suffering long-term disabilities.

After later undergoing one more surgery to repair Tina's aneurysms, the grateful mother was back home a little over two weeks later.

HER SECOND CHANCE AT LIFE

"One year later, I'm living life just as I was before."

Tina knows that she got this second chance because only Ohio State's surgeons have the surgical stroke expertise to treat any brain emergency. It was their expert treatment, along with the smart actions of the local ER, that saved her life. One year since that dreadful day, Tina is making the most out of every minute. On the weekends, you'll either find her riding motorcycles with her husband Marty or camping and fishing with her family.

She's also become an advocate for stroke prevention, educating people about brain aneurysms and urging everyone to get immediate medical attention if they experience any unusual head pain.

Learn about the care team

Meet Tina's Care Team

Behind every patient story we feature are the people who made it a success. Learn more below about Tina's talented care team.

Dr. Ciaran Powers

Dr. Ciaran Powers

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Dr. Ciaran Powers, Neurosurgeon at Ohio State

Dr. Powers is the neurosurgeon who performed emergency brain surgery on Tina.

It was his surgical stroke expertise that repaired Tina's ruptured aneurysm that had resulted in a stroke, and his fast response that prevented her from suffering long-term disabilities.

Tina is grateful to Dr. Powers for saving her life and says that his wonderful sense of humor helped her get through such a difficult experience.

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Marissa Dejesus, CNP

Marissa Dejesus, CNP

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Marissa Dejesus, CNP, Certified Nurse Practitioner at Ohio State

Marissa is the nurse who was Tina's primary caregiver during her hospital stay.

The night before Tina's second surgery to repair four remaining aneurysms in her brain, Marissa and the other nurses let Tina's husband Marty stay past visiting hours to watch the end of the Ohio State Buckeyes football game. The couple call that their "date night."

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Ravyn Cash

Ravyn Cash

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Ravyn Cash, Patient Family Coordinator at Ohio State

Ravyn was extremely helpful to Marty during Tina's stay, actively giving him and his family updates about what was happening in the operating room.

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Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and the number one cause of disability. The side effects from stroke can last a lifetime and include loss of body function and the ability to move, talk or think.

Stroke is commonly known as a "brain attack." It happens when a blood clot blocks one of your arteries or when a blood vessel breaks. As a result, blood flow to the brain is blocked. Your brain needs oxygen to do its job. When oxygen is cut off from the brain, the brain's cells begin to die and brain damage can occur.

Anyone can have a stroke. There are some risk factors that increase your chances of having a stroke. These factors include age, gender, race, or family history of stroke. Other risk factors include:

  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Alcohol use
  • Atherosclerosis, or fatty buildup of plaque in your blood vessels
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Tobacco use

Know Your Warning Signs

Think F.A.S.T.
Face: Facial weakness or drooping
Arm: Arm numbness and weakness
Speech: Slurred speech and difficulty speaking and understanding
Time: Time is critical!

If you or someone you know has any of the warning signs of stroke, call 911 immediately.

Learn More

A quick diagnosis and treatment of stroke can mean less damage and possibly even a full recovery. The highly trained stroke experts at Ohio State's Neurovascular Stroke Center are ready to respond with the most advanced treatments round-the-clock. To learn more, please call: 614-293-6930.

Ohio State Expertise

Patients treated by Ohio State's Neurovascular Stroke Center have access to the best stroke care that exists—not just the best care available. No other hospital in central Ohio has a more comprehensive group of specialists with specific stroke expertise and training.

  • We have the only neurosurgeons in central Ohio dual-trained to perform both conventional vascular disease surgery and endovascular techniques, which means we have the expertise and leading-edge treatments to manage any surgical need.
  • We have central Ohio's only neuro critical care physicians.
  • Our neurointensivists, stroke neurologists, neuroradiologists, neurointerventionists, emergency medicine physicians and stroke therapists are all on hand day and night to treat stroke patients.
  • Our neurosurgical intensive care unit is home to a unique surgical suite that integrates neurosurgical and radiologic care, expediting treatment and eliminating the need to move patients between surgeries.
  • We are a certified Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, which means we offer specialized stroke care that leads to better patient outcomes.
  • The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is recognized by U.S.News & World Report magazine as one of "America's Best Hospitals" for neurology and neurosurgery.
  • Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center was recently ranked among the ten best hospitals in the nation for quality care by University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC).
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