“If anything happened to someone I knew, I’d tell them to go to Capital Health.”
Thirty-one years old, engaged to be married, and an employee at Eastern High School in Voorhees, Leanne Leadley had always had headaches. The one she had after leaving work this past March however was different. This headache was so severe should could barely lift her head up and she could feel it in the back of her neck. When she started vomiting, she knew something was wrong.
Leanne went to the emergency room at Virtua Hospital in Voorhees. At the time she was alert, but had a high sensitivity to light. A CT Scan showed bleeding between the brain and the lining surrounding it (a subarachnoid hemorrhage, or SAH), which raised a strong suspicion of a ruptured aneurysm. It was determined that Leanne needed more specialized care and was transferred to the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center of New Jersey and into the care of Dr. Kenneth Liebman.
Once she arrived, Leanne was brought to the Cerebrovascular Neurosurgical Intervention (CNI) suite at Capital Health Regional Medical Center. There, a diagnostic angiogram confirmed an aneurismal rupture. The aneurysm was treated endovascularly using coils, which blocked the blood flow into the aneurysm and prevented further bleeding.
Seven days after the initial hemorrhage, Leanne started to experience a weakness on her left side and it was determined that she was experiencing cerebral vasospasm, which is the constriction of a blood vessel in the brain. Vasospasm is a common reaction of the cerebral blood vessels in response to a SAH. Unresponsive to medical treatment, balloon angioplasty was used to open up the middle cerebral artery. Prolonged constriction of the blood vessel could have led to a stroke. When she left a little over a week later, she had no deficits.
“The care was fantastic,” says Leadley who praises the care she received from nurses at Capital Health who are specially trained to work with the hospital’s neurosurgical patients. “I am really thankful that Dr. Liebman was my doctor, he always had time and took really good care of me.”
For Leanne, the experience has affected her profoundly; “I thank God every day that I’m alive.”
Now Leann is working on setting a date for her wedding and says life is “pretty much back to normal” for her. She will get follow up monitoring every six months, and is eating better and trying to change other habits. At the urging of Dr. Liebman, Leanne is also working on giving up smoking, “he convinced me it’s necessary.”