LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The miracle of the clot buster

Although, I am no expert, I am an RN and I have seen two strokes in my mother. Both were treated at the same hospital and very differently.

Mom’s first stroke was on May 20, 2015. She had been trying to get the horses out of the orchard. When I got her to the hospital she was dragging her left leg. The pool “MD” was not immediately available and did not see her gait. Time came and went, after three CT scans, 24 hours apart, there was proof that she had had a “mild stroke”. She still has left sided weakness from that stroke.

Aug. 24 we had just brought mom to PMC after her hip surgery. At 4:30 p.m. I had brought up some things from the house. Mom was agitated because of a dream that she had about dogs attacking our dogs. I thought I had reassured her that the dogs were safe. At 6:31 Kim L. called and asked if my mom was ever “unresponsive”. I told her “no” and immediately went to PMC going straight to her room. Mom was sitting in the recliner, her mouth open, eyes open, arms’ slack at her side. I asked if she could hear me, she gave a barely distinguishing nod. Dr. Lizotte was at my side when the question was asked. Both of us commented that she had a “stroke”.

Treatment was discussed. Time is a big factor with stroke victims, and mom had just had total hip replacement. She was given a CT scan to rule out bleeding in the brain. A neurologist, among others were called and the “clot buster” was administered. The HELP Flight helicopter came and we were on the way to St. Vincent’s.

At St. Vincent’s the effects of the “clot buster” on a post surgical patient were addressed. Blood pressure was monitored. CT scans were done and MRI was done. Mom had internal bleeding because of her surgical site. This was addressed. On the neurological ward, the team was astounded that the MRI “did not show any damage”. There were “no signs of a clot’”, the miracle of the “clot buster.”

So now, mom is back at PMC recovering from her total hip replacement. She does not have any additional residual effects neurologically from her stroke.

We would like to take this time to THANK Dr. Lizotte for her timely response to mom’s stroke. The PMC team, HELP Flight team, St. Vincent’s ICU, neurological, and orthopedic teams were awesome. The many prayers that went up from all over guiding our doctors’ hands were appreciated also.

Grayce Thatcher and Terri Rostad, Big Timber



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