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.
Gail Price woke one morning and felt pain in her neck, unlike any pain she had ever experienced before. She dismissed it believing the soreness was from her chiropractic treatment the previous day. Throughout the day, Gail periodically lost feeling in her right hand. The next morning, Gail’s arm would not support her as she tried to rise from her bed. Her husband, Troy noticed her speech was slurred, and combined with her arm numbness he realized she possibly was having a stroke. Troy drove Gail to McLeod Seacoast Emergency Department.
An echocardiogram and MRI test were conducted showing Gail had a blocked carotid artery needing immediate repair. A piece of plaque in her carotid artery traveled to Gail’s brain causing her stroke. Dr. Leia Edenfield, Vascular Surgeon with McLeod Vascular Associates was contacted for a consult.
Dr. Edenfield explained the seriousness of Gail’s condition and the surgical procedure needed to resolve the blockage, an endarterectomy. This surgical procedure is used to remove the build-up of fatty deposits (plaque), which caused the narrowing of the carotid artery. Gail’s symptoms of neck pain, difficulty with finding words, along with arm weakness and numbness were clear signs of risk of a devastating stroke.
"Carotid disease is usually a silent process that can worsen with time in patients with risk factors like smoking, hypertension, high cholesterol, family history, and diabetes,” said Dr. Edenfield. “However, when patients begin to have symptoms related to a carotid artery problem, those symptoms are very serious in the form of TIA and stroke, which can be devastating.”
Gail’s procedure involved an incision made on the left side of the neck exposing her carotid artery. Her carotid artery was clamped above and below the plaque allowing Dr. Edenfield to successfully remove the blockage.
“The best way to prevent carotid disease is to avoid smoking, and keep diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol under control with a healthy lifestyle, medications, and regular follow-up with a primary care doctor,” said Dr. Edenfield. “Screening for carotid disease is non-invasive, done with an ultrasound, and appropriate in patients with significant smoking history, heart disease, or peripheral vascular disease."
Gail’s carotid blood flow was immediately restored once Dr. Edenfield removed the plaque blockage. Physical therapy and speech therapy were assigned to help strengthen her initial onset of weakness and speech difficulties.
“McLeod Seacoast is like coming home,” said Gail. “The staff treated me like family, making me feel confident they would improve my well-being.”
Today, Gail is doing well and is back working at her family restaurant Dockside in Calabash, NC.
“Being an entrepreneur, I understand the value of quality customer service and making sure my patrons are treated like family,” said Gail. “McLeod Seacoast personifies these values.”