Brain Surgery Patient Shares Her Experience

Joanna Gagis examines how neurology impacts the entire body. She talks with Kelly Evans, who shares her story of undergoing brain surgery, and talks with physicians Dr. Patrick Connolly, Penn Medicine Clinician, Penn Medicine Virtua Neurosurgery Program, and Dr. Jonathan Orwitz, VP of Advocare Neurology of South Jersey about signs, symptoms and treatment available for those who suffer from a neurological event, such as a stroke.

2/11/17 #601






"You know, most of us will go through life never having to think about our own neurology or the computer hard drive of our brain that powers our entire body. But just as with any technology, when there's a glitch in the control panel, the entire operating system can be compromised. Knowing what to do and where to go in those critical moments following a breakdown can make all the difference. Waking up like a normal day. Getting ready for work. I started feeling a little funny driving to work. I went to go park and I drove up the curb. So when we got in the office, I went to go get my cup of coffee. I was going to pour the coffee. I was pouring it from my left hand, not my right hand and that's unusual for me. Our boss came in. She had questions. There was someone on the phone. That's when I started to not be able to talk. I just was using my hands and saying "mmm". I knew what I wanted to say, but it wouldn't come out. Kelly works with her husband Greg who first noticed that something was wrong when Kelly wasn't able to answer simple questions that he was asking her. I started talking to her and she couldn't talk to me. Stood there with her hands down and I'd ask her a question. She would make a noise like "Mmm, mmmhmm" and that was it. That's all I could get from her. What was your instinct seeing her respond to you that way. Obviously, something was wrong, so I picked up a set of plans that she should be familiar with and showed them to her and asked her what they were and she couldn't tell me. So what did you do? Immediately got my keys, put her right in the van and took her to Vitua. Kelly was treated by a team of neurologists who work together through a partnership of Virtua and the University of Pennsylvania's Penn Medicine treating patients with a range of neurologic issues. How would you describe what our neurology is in layman’s terms? So, neurology is the study of the brain central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system which are the nerve roots and nerves that supply the extremities, hands and legs. When something goes wrong with our neurological function, what are some of the effects we see on the body. Well, for example, we would have difficulties with vision, speech, cognition, our abilities to reason properly..."