Papillion woman survives two strokes, undergoes thrombectomy

A Papillion couple has been through quite the journey after they suffered two strokes.
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 8:33 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - May is National Stroke Awareness Month. It’s a time to understand the causes and effects of stroke.

Statistics show 800,000 people in the U.S. are affected by stroke every year and one Nebraska woman’s recovery from two strokes is nothing short of a miracle.

“She has a speech impediment and I can’t hear. We make a pretty good team,” says Terri Hodgen’s husband, Lyle.

It’s no surprise the Hodgens have been through a lot lately. The couple is recovering from two strokes Terri suffered, just ten days after her first scare.

“I followed her and she fell and leaned against the wall and I caught her and laid her down, got the phone, immediately called Papillion Fire and Rescue and they were there within minutes,” says Lyle.

He’s convinced the timing saved Terri’s life. Her neurointerventionist, CHI Health System Stroke Medical Director Dr. Vishal Jani, agrees.

“It’s a race against time. Time and time we have learned that faster action prevents disability.”

Terri’s speech therapy sessions are evidence of her development. It’s a big improvement and one Terri herself is proud of.

“If you would have seen her two weeks ago, you wouldn’t have believed it. I am very happy with it, and I’m sure you are, too,” says Lyle as Terri smiles and nods.

Pre-op and post-op X-rays of Terri’s brain are evidence of her progress. You can see full blockage, followed by free blood flow after the removal of the clot.

Terri’s thrombectomy saved her life.

“I think overall, this procedure is minimally invasive, we don’t have to open the skull, we don’t have any scars, we don’t have to shave the hair off, and this is a very quick minute, a very fast surgical treatment,” says Dr. Jani.

“It worked out where she’s here today. If it wasn’t for the teamwork of Midlands and Emmanuel, we wouldn’t be here,” says Lyle.

Terri’s surgery lasted 14 minutes and Dr. Jani says her recovery is nothing short of a miracle. He says 60% of strokes are preventable by not smoking, avoiding alcohol, and simply eating well and staying active.