Stroke Care: When every minute matters

Published: Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Eunice Ladipo was on the phone with a friend when she developed the most intense headache she’d ever experienced. Before we knew it, she couldn’t speak or move her limbs.

Her husband called 911, and the paramedics rushed her to the nearest hospital. An MRI revealed a ruptured brain aneurism – a bulging blood vessel in the brain – that caused her to have a stroke. Eunice was immediately airlifted to Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Gainesville, the closest Comprehensive Stroke Center, to receive life-saving care.

Eunice’s case was complex, and scans revealed she had multiple aneurisms in her brain. She was monitored closely and received ongoing treatment in the neuro-intensive care unit during her 28-day hospital stay.

“I loved everyone I encountered at NGMC Gainesville – from my physicians, nurses, therapists, support staff and everyone else,” said Eunice. “They are all competent and caring, and it’s obvious they love their jobs.”

“Every neurological case is unique – and Eunice’s case is no exception,” said Tarek Dakakni, MD, neurocritical care specialist and the director of Inpatient Neurology at NGMC. “Due to the type of brain bleeding she experienced, close monitoring of her symptoms was imperative to her survival and recovery. Prior to becoming a Comprehensive Stroke Center, we would have sent Eunice to a hospital in Atlanta for treatment. Now, our team is fully prepared to treat even the most complex stroke cases right here in Gainesville. This type of care is life-saving for patients like Eunice, and we are pleased with her exceptional recovery.”

Just one week after being discharged from the hospital, Eunice returned to work. Due to her remaining brain aneurisms, Eunice has had follow-up procedures at NGMC Gainesville to place additional stents in her brain to prevent future ruptures. Now, she’s back living life as normal with her husband and three sons.

“I don’t know how it’s possible for one hospital to employ so many outstanding people, but I know that NGMC is doing something right,” said Eunice. “I’m so grateful to the care team who saved my life and became like family to us. I believe that if God doesn’t want you to die, he will put you in the hands of the people who can save you.”

A ruptured aneurysm comes with two phases of critical illness.

First the aneurysm ruptures causing bleeding and brain swelling.

Later the major blood vessels supplying the brain can spasm in response to inflammation left behind by the blood, which can lead to more strokes.

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Learn more about the comprehensive neuroscience services offered at NGMC.