“After being erroneously diagnosed with a sinus and ear infection, Lindsey Singh, 31, headed into her regular morning spin class. Within 15 minutes, she suspected vision disturbances in her right eye.
“I also began feeling lightheaded and dizzy – just like when I had a ministroke,” says Lindsey.
A ministroke, or transient ischemic attack (TIA), happens when there is a blockage that obstructs blood flow to the brain. Symptoms mirror those of a stroke — including vision problems and weakness on one side of the body — but don’t cause permanent brain damage.
“Fortunately, I knew the warning signs and that I needed to get to the hospital right away,” explains Lindsey.
“Lindsey’s situation shows while most strokes occur in patients over the age of 65, strokes can strike at any age,” says Dr. Paul Saphier, a board-certified neurosurgeon and stroke specialist at Atlantic NeuroSurgical Specialists, who would end up treating Lindsey.
Dr. Saphier advises patients to follow the American Stroke Association’s “FAST” acronym to spot baseline stroke symptoms — face drooping, arm weakness or speech difficulty — then call 911.
When Lindsey arrived at Hackettstown Medical Center with her husband, Avtar, doctors discovered one of her carotid arteries — a main blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain, face and neck — was dissected and 90 percent occluded, or closed off. She was immediately rushed to Overlook Medical Center. There stroke specialists placed a stent in her neck to open the occlusion and prevent a life-threatening stroke.
Despite a smooth surgery, Lindsey began experiencing numbness in her right arm, slurred speech and confusion just days before she was scheduled to be discharged. Observing signs of an imminent stroke, the medical team called in Dr. Saphier, a leader in stroke care, for his expertise in endovascular neurosurgery.
“Dr. Saphier explained the complex stenting procedure that would offer Lindsey the best chance of reclaiming her life,” says Avtar. “The risks were considerable, but in the end, he was able to prevent Lindsey from experiencing a major stroke.”
“Not only am I still here to enjoy every day with my family,” she notes, “my life thankfully looks a lot like it did before this crazy rollercoaster began.”
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Atlantic NeuroSurgical Specialists (ANS) is New Jersey’s largest neurosurgical practice and one of the most advanced in the country. For more information, visit www.ansdocs.com.