When Jamie Falstrault’s undiagnosed brain aneurysm ruptured while in his Manasquan home, he and his family feared for his life.
“I was having bad headaches and was diagnosed with a sinus infection three times,” Jamie recalled. “The next thing I know, I’m disoriented and nauseous – and being rushed to the hospital.”
At Atlantic Neuroscience Institute at Overlook Medical Center, Jamie began seeing Dr. Ronald Benitez, a board-certified neurosurgeon at Atlantic NeuroSurgical Specialists and specialist in brain aneurysms and strokes.
“Sudden, highly severe headaches are a telltale sign that an aneurysm has – or soon will – rupture … and that you should seek immediate medical attention,” advises Dr. Benitez.
During Jamie’s five-month-long hospital stay, Dr. Benitez performed multiple procedures, including surgery to clip his aneurysm, insertion of a shunt and several angioplasties to relieve the narrowing of cerebral arteries. While in the hospital, Jamie suffered a massive stroke that paralyzed the entire left side of his body.
Jamie spent six months in outpatient rehabilitation but continued to struggle physically.
“Despite my best efforts, I was weak, and I was having terrible tremors, making it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to do everyday tasks — from writing my name to eating a meal. As much as I felt like giving up at times, I was determined to persevere. Dr. Benitez saved my life and it was up to me to keep pushing myself forward,” said Jamie.
That’s when an acquaintance who also suffered brain injuries recommended Jamie try yoga therapy. He started yoga, focusing on breathing, stability and mobility exercises, and after just a few months, became significantly stronger.
“I was no longer paralyzed. Like a miracle, my strength began to come back, and my shaking stopped. It has been nothing short of remarkable,” he said. “Combined with traditional medicine, yoga has been a major influence in speeding up my recovery and allowing me to regain more mobility than I once thought was possible.”
Jamie concluded, “Hope and healing comes in many forms. For me, it’s neurosurgery and yoga — a life-saving combination I am eternally grateful for.”
Atlantic NeuroSurgical Specialists (ANS) is New Jersey’s largest neurosurgical practice and one of the most advanced in the country. Since its founding in 1958, ANS has specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders affecting the nervous system. For more information, visit www.ansdocs.com.
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