New Stroke Procedure Saves Rutherford County Woman's Life

Jun 09, 2022 at 05:55 pm by WGNS


According to the CDC, someone in the United States suffers a stroke every 40 seconds. Carmen Rodriguez, 79, is now a member of that group. It was the evening of May 15th when Carmen thought she was only suffering a harmless headache. She woke up the next morning feeling dizzy, and before she knew it, she collapsed on the floor of her home. Her roommate called 911, and she was rushed to Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford. 

When she arrived at the hospital, the team of doctors found that a blood clot from her aorta artery had traveled to her brain, causing her to suffer a stroke. Since Carmen came to the hospital right away, they were able to perform their new life-saving stroke intervention called thrombectomy. Thrombectomy is a minimally invasive procedure in which an interventional radiologist uses a catheter to remove a blood clot that has formed in an artery or vein. Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford recently became the first healthcare facility in Rutherford to offer this procedure.

”When I woke up in the hospital, I was so surprised,” said Carmen. “I don’t remember passing out or being transferred to the hospital.” The hospital staff was able to piece the puzzle together for Carmen and her family. “It was hard being away from my mother during this time,” said Theresa, Carmen's daughter. “The staff made us feel like we were a part of my mom's recovery and walked us through exactly what happened to her. My mom is 70 percent recovered and expected to have a full recovery because they were able to use this new intervention. We are just so blessed.” 

Carmen was in the ICU recovery room for six days. She did so well after surgery that they took her off the ventilator so she could breath on her own and recover quicker. The following week, she began physical therapy and was released to go home on June 4, 2022. “It’s so nice to be back home with my daughters Christine and Theresa and my grandson, Michael,” said Carmen. Carmen is known by her loved ones as a caregiver and she enjoys doing crossword puzzles, playing cards, and walking her dog for activity. “My mom had minimal damage to her body after her stroke, said Theresa. “If it wasn’t for the new intervention they offered, I am not sure where she would be today. My mom is back to doing small things around her house again and very determined to get better.”

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