WINCHESTER, Va. - A new stroke treatment to the four-state area is saving lives, and in some instances, eliminating the potentially life-changing effects of a stroke.
David Sayen said he was relaxing on the couch with his wife, when all of a sudden he could not talk or look her in the eye.
“I tried to look at her but my eyes would only drift to the right, I couldn’t get them to come back to the left,” Sayen said.
After that, his wife called 9-1-1 and he was immediately rushed to the emergency room of Valley Health.
“There were a lot of people working really fast to try to take care of me and then everything just seemed to slow down after that, after the pressure was relieved off my head, and I had blood flow,” Sayen said.
Interventional neurologist, Dan-Victor Giurgiutiu said Sayen was having a stroke.
Dr. Giurgiutiu knew he had to act fast and perform a mechanical thrombectomy to retrieve the clot.
“You take the clot and you put a stint inside of that clot and that opens up a little bit, and then you drag everything out and you get flow back,” Dr. Giurgiutiu said.
The procedure causes minimal pain, and in Sayen’s case, amazing results, especially considering that Sayen had no permanent side effects.
Dr. Giurgiutiu said that previous treatments for ischemic strokes in the 1980's and 1990's, such as administering Aspirin and a tissue plasminogen activator commonly called tPA, were effective about 20 to 40 percent of the time.
However, Dr. Giurgiutiu said the mechanical thrombectomy works in at least 80 to 90 percent of cases.
From the moment that Sayen started feeling the symptoms of his stroke to the second his clot was removed, doctors said only an hour and a half had passed, which was crucial to his health.
Sayen said his near-death experience changed his outlook on life.
“You don’t take every day for granted, you’re thankful for every day you have,” Sayen said.
It has been about six months since Sayen had his stroke and doctors said he has made a full-recovery.
Sayen said he had minor side effects immediately after the stroke, such as difficulty reading, but in the months since even that is not an issue for him anymore.
Doctors said in addition to this innovative treatment, Sayen also acted immediately, which positively affected his outcome.