With the many advances in care and treatments, today’s patients have more and more reasons to expect the best outcomes. Here are the incredible stories of our patients and their journeys. Click on a thumbnail and scroll down to view each story.
Joye Allen and her husband Steve were on the verge of returning home from visiting their daughter and family in California when she experienced an episode of slurred speech. The situation cleared so Joye pushed the problem aside.
The next morning, she could not pick up her left leg. Joye kept this to herself. She and Steve left for the airport to return home to Florence.
Back home, Joye experienced a brief period of arm weakness. She decided it was time to see her Primary Care Physician Dr. Cory Smith. Dr. Smith sent Joye for an emergency MRI. Immediately following the MRI Joye was informed she was having a stroke and she was admitted to McLeod Regional Medical Center.
The carotid arteries, the main arteries to the brain, carry blood flow on each side of the neck up into the brain. Their function is to provide oxygen.
Over time, some people develop problems in the form of blockages as plaque builds up in the walls of their carotid arteries. This plaque consists of cholesterol, calcium, and fibrous tissue. As the plaque increases inside the arteries, eventually, the build-up reduces the blood flow through the arteries. If those blockages get severe enough it can cause a stroke.
Carotid endarterectomy is a procedure performed by a Vascular Surgeon to treat carotid artery blockages. During this procedure, the Vascular Surgeon exposes the carotid artery through an incision on the side of the neck. The artery, after being clamped on both sides of the blockage, is then opened to access the plaque. The plaque is removed from inside the artery and the artery is then sewn back together.
McLeod Vascular Surgeon Dr. William Jackson was called to see Joye. “He drew me a picture of what my blockage looked like and explained the procedure,” said Joye. “Dr. Jackson gave me such a feeling of comfort. I was never worried about my pending surgery.
“It did not occur to me that I was having a stroke,” said Joye. “God’s hand was protecting me. I am so thankful I made it home and to the care I needed.”
Married for 53 years, Joye and Steve travel extensively to visit their two children, four grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Once Joye recovered from her stroke, she returned to their volunteer work with OM (Operation Mobilization) Ships Warehouse in Florence, an organization that relies on volunteers to receive, sort, and ship out thousands of books to various regions of the world for their Ship Ministry.
“It is important for people to learn the signs of a stroke,” said Joye. “I should have been more aware and listening to what my body was trying to tell me. I was very fortunate. It certainly could have been a different outcome for me. God gave those amazing people at McLeod the talent to care for me when I needed them the most.”