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World-Class Neurosurgery

Right place, right time
for life-saving care

Tina Williams

At age 35, Tina Williams didn’t realize anything was wrong until she tried to get out of bed. Paralyzed on her left side, she fell to the floor.

The Chandler resident had suffered a stroke—the result of a weakened heart muscle. The heart problem caused blood to pool then form a clot that traveled to her brain. 

Paramedics took Tina to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, which offers a Primary Stroke Center certified by The Joint Commission. This prestigious designation signifies that the hospital meets high standards of care for the treatment of acute stroke, giving patients a better chance to recover with fewer disabilities. 

Tina, who was cared for by a team of Scottsdale Healthcare experts, is living proof. 

Neurologist Gary Reese, MD diagnosed and selected the treatment for Tina’s condition.

Interventional radiologist Peter Sunenshine, MD performed an innovative procedure to remove the stroke-causing blood clot from Tina’s brain. Using the Merci Retrieval System, Dr. Sunenshine inserted a “balloon guide catheter” into an artery in Tina’s groin then maneuvered it up the carotid artery in her neck and into her brain. Next, special instruments were deployed through the guide catheter to capture the clot. Dr. Sunenshine then inflated the balloon guide catheter so that the clot could be pulled into the catheter and drawn out of Tina’s body. The balloon guide catheter was then deflated. 

“The paramedics said Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center was definitely where you want to go if you have a brain injury and they were right,” said Tina, noting that the hospital had just received the Merci Retrieval System used to remove the clot in her brain. 

Tina, who has no family history or symptoms of heart disease (other than the fatigue she attributed to having two young children), suffered a heart attack shortly after her clot removal. Scottsdale Healthcare cardiac physicians implanted a Pacemaker to control her heartbeat.

Today, Scottsdale Healthcare occupational and physical therapists are helping to restore functionality in Tina’s left hand and leg. 

“Scottsdale Healthcare totally saved my life because they realized right away that I’d had a stroke. That helped minimize damage so I could maintain my quality of life,” said Tina.

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