Just ask Robert Amaton
On a sunny day in Phoenix, AZ, Robert was shopping with his wife at a local mall. "Can I meet you somewhere in a few minutes? I'm just going to use the restroom," he told her. "As I was washing my hands, suddenly I looked up and there was a lot of things going on. I felt very strange. There was a gentleman there. I said, 'Please help me, Call 9-1-1. There's something wrong with me.'"
Paramedics quickly arrived on the scene and transported Robert to Banner - University Medical Center Phoenix. Banner is the first and, currently, the only certified comprehensive stroke center in Arizona. The medical team attending to Robert was headed by Dr. Karam Moon, a fellowship-trained neurosurgeon specializing in cerebrovascular, skull-base and spinal surgery, and a respected authority in the field of neurosurgery.
"Robert came to the hospital with severe headaches, and was diagnosed with what is called a subarachnoid hemorrhage," Dr. Moon says, referring to a life-threatening type of hemorrhagic stroke. "This is an urgent situation, so we took him quickly to the angio suite, where he underwent a cerebral angiogram and treatment of his aneurysm. Once we determined exactly where the aneurysm was located, and were able to obtain complex 3D modeling of the aneurysm, we decided which tools we would need."
"We used a balloon made by Stryker called the TransForm balloon, which sits across the aneurysm neck and serves multiple purposes," Dr. Moon continues. "For one, it helps with catheter stability while we are coiling the aneurysm. It also provides additional protection should the aneurysm rupture during the procedure, which is not an uncommon event."
Introduced by Stryker's Neurovascular Division in 2013, the TransForm Occlusion Balloon Catheter is a 0.014-inch, guidewire-compatible, single-lumen occlusion balloon. A first-of-its-kind device when launched, it remains an innovative treatment solution for hemorrhagic stroke, including the type of subarachnoid hemorrhage Robert suffered.
In treating Robert's aneurysm, Dr. Moon utilized the TransForm Occlusion Balloon Catheter in combination with Stryker's Target XL Detachable Coils. Developed specifically for the treatment of neurovascular aneurysms, Target Detachable Coils are designed to provide consistently smooth and stable deployment within the aneurysm.
"The reason why we chose to utilize Stryker Target coils in treating Robert's aneurysm is primarily due to the size of the aneurysm, as well as its shape and morphology," Dr. Moon says. "We were confident in the tools that we used because of our extensive experience with balloon-assisted coiling, particularly with Stryker's Target coils and the TransForm balloon, which worked remarkably in his case."
"I remember seeing a lot of people around my bed—family and friends," Robert recalls through tears of relief, and gratitude. "I saw the smiling faces of the nurses. I'm so thankful for the second opportunity that I have in this life." As a patient advocate for brain aneurysm survivors, Robert knows one thing: "All I can say is that we can get through this, because we have a lot of help from good people. And we're not alone."
"Having suffered a ruptured aneurysm, he will require follow-up for life," says Dr. Moon. "But the hard part's over, and every time I see Robert, it's a joy to hear that he's continuing to make progress. He may not be one hundred percent yet, but every day he gets closer and closer to the recovery we are hoping he makes. I have no doubt he will make a full recovery."
"I want to express my gratitude to all the people and resources involved in my treatment and recovery," Robert concludes. "To Dr. Moon, and all the hospital staff. To Stryker. It's a great thing. They save lives. And I'm one of them. I'm grateful and so happy to have a second chance.
"Life is beautiful."
1 Brain Aneurysm Foundation Statistics and Facts. https://bafound.org/about-brain-aneurysms/brain-aneurysm-basics/brain-aneurysm-statistics-and-facts. Last accessed June 2019.
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