A Glasgow care worker who blacked out while driving is on the road to recovery following life-saving brain surgery performed through her wrist.
Scans revealed Carla Hogg was suffering from multiple cerebral bleeds after co-workers found her slumped over in her car earlier this year.
Medics at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) placed the 24-year-old in an induced coma before carrying out emergency “coiling” surgery to save her life when a ruptured brain aneurysm was uncovered by doctors.
Follow-up checks found two further aneurysms requiring additional procedures, however she is now planning a return to work – despite family members being told to “prepare for the worst”.
Carla, from Whiteinch, was on the phone to dad James, 67, when her speech became garbled, prompting her to pull over the car.
Colleagues from the Cordia care service found her before an ambulance rushed her to QEUH for emergency surgery.
She said: “I was using hands free to speak to my dad as I drove to the shop and I suddenly started slurring my words.
“Luckily I had time to pull the car in before I blacked out.
“The only other thing I can remember was the feeling of blood rushing from my head down my body.”
Neurosurgeon Wazim Izzath carried out the coiling procedure, which involves using the body’s network of arteries to feed through a catheter transporting a tiny flexible mesh tube called a stent, towards the aneurysm.
Once within range, the stent can be positioned in a manner which diverts the flow of blood away from the aneurysm, helping to minimise the chance of future rupture.
It meant doctors avoided having to open Carla’s skull to operate and minimised the risks associated with such a surgery, allowing her to return home the day after a follow-up procedure to clear the two further bleeds.
Consultant Dr Izzath said: “Using this type of technology to look after patients like Carla is game changing.
“It’s a hugely effective means of treating a brain aneurysm and allows the patients to mobilise early and go home the following day, minimising procedural risks and in a position where we know their chances of another rupture are minimised.”
Carla has not yet returned to work, but is now hoping to go back to her previous role as an elderly carer within the next few months.
“It’s hard to get my head around having brain surgery to being back on my feet so fast,” she said.
“The staff at the QEUH have been absolutely amazing. I’m a natural worrier and my doctor, Wazim has been there at every step answer all of my questions and look after my care.”
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