Carotid artery dissection is one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults. If the condition is not treated immediately, it could lead to paralysis and even death.
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Lindsey Singh understands immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced vision disturbances in her right eye during a spin class.
“I knew right away something wasn’t right,” says Lindsey, who was aware of stroke symptoms following a transient ischemic attack (TIA) three years earlier. “First it was my vision; then my right side got weak. In a strange way, the previous event alerted me to act quickly.”
Lindsey and her husband, Avtar, immediately went to Hackettstown Medical Center, where a CT scan followed by a CT angiogram revealed a tear in her carotid artery. It was 90 percent blocked.
“It’s rare for someone that young to have stroke symptoms, so missing the diagnosis would have been catastrophic,” says Hackettstown emergency department physician Dr. Maulik Trivedi.
Lindsey was transported by medical helicopter to the Stroke Center at Overlook Medical Center in Summit, where she underwent several angiograms to assess her arteries before stroke specialists placed a stent in her neck to open the blockage.
Her right arm went numb, her speech was slurred, and she was confused – all indicators of an imminent traumatic stroke. “It felt like our lives were on the brink of falling apart – then Dr. Saphier joined Lindsey’s medical team,” said Avtar.
Dr. Paul Saphier, a neurosurgeon at Overlook Medical Center, recommended a complex procedure that would offer Lindsey the best chance of surviving. The high-risk surgery successfully prevented a debilitating stroke.
Following surgery, Lindsey made an awe-inspiring recovery. She quickly progressed through therapy, taking steps and speaking fluidly within a month. Just six months after surgery, she resumed much of her normal life and is making progress in the last leg of therapy to strengthen her right arm and hand.
“I can’t thank everyone enough – the doctors and nurses at Hackettstown and Overlook were wonderful,” says Lindsey. “They helped me get my life back. I wouldn’t be here today for my children if it wasn’t for Dr. Saphier. I’m forever grateful.”