Libertyville mother thankful for cutting-edge treatment
Thanksgiving has always been a favorite holiday for Yuet (Cindy) Wong, a 58-year-old woman living in Libertyville. Last Thanksgiving season she learned the real meaning of the holiday when she successfully underwent a cutting edge treatment after suffering a ruptured aneurysm.
Wong, a stay-at-home mom with three grown children, woke up one November morning, played badminton and went home to rest before heading to church to lead the children's program. She was acting out a story for the first- and second-graders when she suddenly didn't feel well and then fainted.
"The children thought I was acting! The leader of the program knew this wasn't normal and called 911 after I lost consciousness," Wong said.
The ambulance took her to the emergency room at NorthShore Evanston Hospital.
Wong later learned she had a ruptured aneurysm. When she arrived at NorthShore, Dr. Brian Walcott, a neurosurgeon at NorthShore University HealthSystem Neurological Institute, performed innovative and minimally invasive surgery to repair the aneurysm through a long thin tube placed in the radial artery in her wrist. Traditionally, this surgery is performed through the groin or leg using the femoral (artery) access approach.
There are complications associated with the femoral access approach, including increased bleeding and infection. Patients prefers radial access surgery because it is safer and there is a faster recovery time.
The procedure, called radial access technology, has been used in treating cardiac patients, but some neurosurgeons -- including Walcott -- are now using the technology to effectively treat stroke and brain aneurysms.
"Not only is the radial access technique safer, but it also represents a cutting-edge mindset to help patients to recover quicker and with less discomfort," Walcott said.
After two weeks in the hospital recovering, Wong was transferred to a rehabilitation center for several weeks.
"I'm feeling pretty good. I'm on the way to a full recovery," Wong said. "And, they told me to get back to badminton. I'm eager to get out to play with my friends," she added.