Royal North Shore Hospital Interventional Neurologist Dr Alice Ma said Alessandra was lucky to survive the catastrophic stroke.
“What was initially a small injury to the vertebral artery developed into a severe stroke” Alice said.
“Alessandra’s case was particularly complicated as she had bilateral vertebral artery dissections further compounding the effects of the clot blocking her brainstem.
“Fortunately the stroke thrombectomy procedure was successful and we were able to reperfuse the brainstem and the visual cortex. I was still worried she would have a severe brain stem injury or a visual impairment but almost miraculously she woke up completely neurologically intact.”
Alice said Alessandra’s recovery is a result of the teamwork and close collaboration of multiple specialty teams at Royal North Shore Hospital.
“The ICU team were particularly crucial in her post-operative care, optimising her hemodynamic management to allow time for her blood vessels to start healing,” she said.
Alessandra spent nearly two weeks in the ICU following her surgery.
“I received the best care from all the doctors and nurses who were all so kind and compassionate towards me,” she said.
“The surgery itself was incredible, it just blows my mind to think that Dr Ma went through my leg all the way up to my brain and removed the clot.
A keen ballet dancer, Alessandra said she is excited to get back into dancing and, of course, Oztag.
“Dr Ma said the vessels are healing up nicely, so hopefully at my next appointment I get the all clear,” she said.