Sixty-five year old Jacqueline Keeley is all praise for the pioneering surgery that gave her a new lease of life after she suffered a stroke at her home in Birmingham in February this year that completely paralyzed her on the left side along with loss of speech. She was rushed to the city's Queen Elizabeth II Hospital and was given the drug Alteplase, which contains a protein capable of dissolving blood clots in stroke victims. Since it was not a success, doctors decided to do a thrombectomy, which has been performed only on a handful of people in the UK. They inserted a tube fitted with a tiny mesh basket through her groin into her brain with X-ray guidance and were thus able to scoop out the blood clot. Just few seconds after the surgery, she was able to move and speak again. She said: "I was awake on the operating table when they performed the procedure. I couldn't feel a thing and couldn't speak. When the basket got near to my brain, I heard an explosion. It almost felt like fireworks in my head. But I couldn't tell them what I thought as I had no voice. Then seconds later it happened again. I must have winced and when the doctors asked if I was OK, I actually spoke and said, 'Yes.' I couldn't believe it. Then I said, 'Oh, I can talk.' It was because, at that split second, they caught the blood clot which was causing the blockage." Stroke consultant Dr Don Sims hopes that this new procedure will be able to benefit many stroke victims in the future.
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