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Access to State-of-the-Art Technology When Every Moment Counts

EvergreenHealth Neurosurgery provides life-saving care for stroke patients.

As 80-year-old retired teacher and missionary Bill Jones was enjoying a crisp September evening barbecuing in his Bothell backyard, his wife, Kathy, stepped outside to find him with an arm hanging over the fire, unable to speak. She quickly dialed 911.

Upon Jones’ arrival to the EvergreenHealth Emergency Department, Dr. Terry Mengert, emergency medicine physician, and neurohospitalist Dr. Sheila Smith ordered a CT scan, which showed a blood clot in his major cerebral artery, causing a stroke. They quickly administered a dose of the clot-busting drug, tPA, to restore blood flow and oxygen to his brain before rushing him into the biplane imaging suite for surgery.

There, Dr. Dustin Hayward, neurosurgeon with EvergreenHealth Neurosurgery, conducted a minimally invasive thrombectomy using biplane imaging technology, which provides a 3D road map of every blood vessel in the brain. He inserted a catheter into Jones’ leg, weaving it all the way up to his brain to remove the clot.

Over the next three days, Jones was continually monitored in the Critical Care Unit by a physical therapist, occupational therapist and rehabilitation specialist to assess his care needs and recovery.

“Within two days, Bill was able to walk without a walker and eating normally,” Kathy explained. “We were even playing cribbage in the CCU!”

Miraculously, Jones experienced no lasting brain damage, despite suffering a severe stroke. Without the immediate intervention he received, Dr. Hayward predicts that Jones would have lost the ability to use and understand language, and to move the right side of his body. “Bill’s success story is thanks to a lot of people moving very quickly,” Dr. Hayward said. “By acting fast and collaborating with the right specialists, we can save more of the brain.” Today, Jones is back to enjoying backyard barbecues—when the Pacific Northwest weather permits, of course.