Norwalk Woman Who Suffered a Stroke is Looking Forward to Celebrating the Holidays

New Milford Hospital
Joshua Marcus, MD
A Western Connecticut Health Network neurosurgeon and Norwalk Hospital rapid respond team performed a cutting-edge, minimally invasive, advanced procedure to save a stroke patient’s life.

NORWALK, Connecticut, December 4, 2017 — Eleanor MacNeill, an independent 81 year old resident of Norwalk, Connecticut suffered a stroke during the early morning hours on August 21. “It was around 6:30 a.m. when I suddenly noticed I could not lift or move my left arm and left leg,” said MacNeill. “I knew something was seriously wrong.”

Fortunately, MacNeill was able to activate the medical alert device she wears. Paramedics arrived at her home within minutes and safely transported her to the Norwalk Hospital Emergency Department (ED). A computed tomography (CT) angiography revealed a blockage caused by a blood clot in a large cerebral blood vessel on the right side of her brain.

With support from a rapid response team highly trained in neuroendovascular treatments, neurosurgeon Joshua Marcus, MD performed a cutting-edge, minimally invasive, intra-arterial mechanical thrombectomy, an advanced emergency procedure to help patients with acute ischemic stroke. A microcatheter is inserted through an artery in the groin to aspirate a blood clot and restore blood flow to the brain, resulting in neurologic recovery. This new procedure gives stroke patients more time to be effectively treated. Traditionally, stroke patients need to be treated within four hours of sudden onset symptoms. The minimally-invasive, intra-arterial mechanical thrombectomy extends the treatment window to 6–8 hours.

“It is critical for someone having a stroke to receive treatment quickly in order to save their life and reduce the risk of disability,” said Dr. Marcus. “This procedure is rapidly becoming the gold standard in ischemic stroke treatment due to its safety, efficacy, expanded treatment window, and excellent patient outcomes.”

Danbury Hospital and Norwalk Hospital are the only community hospitals in Connecticut equipped to offer this procedure.

Dr. Marcus joined Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN) one year ago to provide advanced, safe, and quality neurosurgical care to Danbury Hospital and Norwalk Hospital patients. He is the only physician in Fairfield County, and one of only a few in Connecticut, with advanced training and dual expertise in both the open surgical and minimally invasive treatment of cerebrovascular conditions including cerebral aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, carotid artery disease, and hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke.

“The last thing I remembered was a helpful ED nurse explaining that they were going to run some tests on me,” said MacNeill. “I woke up in a patient room at Norwalk Hospital 24 hours later. I learned that a blood clot was successfully removed from an artery on the right side of my brain. I was surprised how well I was feeling after having had a stroke.”

Four days after the procedure, MacNeill was discharged from Norwalk Hospital to an acute rehabilitation facility for physical and occupational therapy. She returned home 14 days later. Today, MacNeill continues outpatient physical therapy because she wants to build her strength.

“In my opinion, I do not have any side effects from the stroke,” said MacNeill. I am grateful for the excellent care I received at Norwalk Hospital and the team of doctors and nurses who cared for me every step of the way. I am also very thankful to my son and daughter, Neil and Tracey, for their love and unwavering care and support. I am glad to be alive and look forward to celebrating the holidays with my friends and loved ones.”

Danbury Hospital and Norwalk Hospital have been certified by The Joint Commission as Primary Stroke Centers since 2006. Contact WCHN to learn more about the stroke services we provide:

• Heather Duggan, Stroke Coordinator, RN, MSN, CNL, SCRN, Danbury and New Milford Hospitals: 203-739-6973
• Michele Lecardo, RN, Clinical Coordinator, Rapid Response, Norwalk Hospital: 203-852-2289

Learn more from Dr. Marcus about advances in the treatment of stroke:
Stroke Prevention
Stroke Treatment