SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A medical procedure performed for the first time in Florida has given a woman new hope after a series of brain aneurysms deprived her of two of her senses.
Yadira Erriguible said it all happened in a flash. One day was living a normal life — the next, she could not smell or taste.
Then she started getting headaches.
“My friends insisted that I go to a specialist because it wasn’t normal for my age,” she said.
The diagnosis was scary: She had multiple aneurysms in her brain.
“Several aneurysms sometimes is a death sentence, so it’s a very dangerous disease,” said Dr. Italo Linfante at the Miami Cardiac and Vascular Institute in Kendall. “It’s like having a bomb in someone’s brain, and what we do is we defuse this bomb, so we secure it and it doesn’t burst and bleed anymore.”
Lucky for her, Erriguible lives in South Florida, where Dr. Linfante and his staff, working with specialists at the Baptist Health Neuroscience Center, was able to plug the aneurysms in a minimally invasive manner.
A brand-new stent-like device, just approved by the Food and Drug Administration, got the job done safely.
The medical team, the first in Florida to use the device, said it will allow many aneurysms that were thought to be untreatable to be cured.
“Some of these aneurysms could not be treated a few years ago, and not only that, when they were treated, their complication rates were very high, and a lot of them would recur in the case of the large and giant aneurysms,” said Dr. Guilherme Dabus at the Miami Cardiac and Vascular Institute, “so, of course, being able to offer this type of treatment here has been life-changing for most of our patients.”
Erriguible said, after her surgery in December, she saw the changes immediately.
“Right away, the nurse’s perfume, I could smell it as soon as they came to take the blood pressure,” she said.
The patient’s first post-surgery meal?
“It was chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, milk, coffee,” she said.
The verdict? Tasty.
“It’s so good. It’s a good feeling to know what you’re eating, because I spent almost six, seven months without knowing,” she said.
Now Erriguible has a special message for her doctors.
“I’m very grateful, very grateful. I feel like I can live a better life now, and I’m looking forward to have a happy life,” she said.
“It is the most rewarding part of this job that we do,” said Lonfante. “We have these patients that before had no hope, and now they have hope.”
Erriguible has since returned to work and has resumed her normal routine. The special stent used on her will help prevent future complications that could have come up with more traditional treatments.
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