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New tool to help stroke victims - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

New tool to help stroke victims

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PENNINGTON, N.J. -

Elisa Kahn was getting dressed for work when she collapsed to the floor. The 51-year-old was having a stroke.

"I couldn't feel my left side, couldn't move my left side, my speech was extremely slurred," she said.

Turns out a clot was blocking the blood flow to the right side of Kahn's brain.

Neurosurgeon Dr. Erol Veznederoglu of Capital Health Regional Medical Center inserted a new device called the Trevo through Kahn's leg and into her brain.

"So the second this comes out, I've restored blood flow to the brain," he said.

It has a delicate mesh that expands through the clot, allowing blood to flow immediately at a time when minutes can mean the difference between life and death.

"It saved her life," Veznederoglu said. "Without question it saved her life."

Every four minutes in the U.S. someone dies from a stroke. And doctors say more people are dying these days without ever getting intervention. That's why it's critical to know the warning signs.

"For the most part strokes cause symptoms on one side of the body: weakness, numbness, heaviness on the arm, leg, drooping of the face," Veznederoglu said.

A few weeks after her procedure, Kahn says she feels fully recovered.

"Wonderful," she said. "Like back to normal."

She says she's been given back the life she loves.

Capital Health Regional Medical Center was the first hospital in the country to treat a stroke patient using Trevo after the device received FDA approval.

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