‘To this day I still can’t believe this happened to me at 28.’
It all started with persistent headaches in the final term of Mandy Bank’s pregnancy. This was her first child though, and she was unsure whether or no this was a normal problem. “I didn’t have a clue what to expect,” says Mandy about the experience. “I thought ‘maybe this is part of being pregnant?'” But instead of going away the pain in her temples only intensified, and finally the aching got so bad that Mandy started slurring her speech. Something was definitely wrong.
Because of her experience working with the American Heart Association 28-year-old Banks knew that her symptoms could be the result of something very serious, so she immediately went to the doctor to have them run some tests. She was prepared for some bad news, but Mandy was shocked to learn that at such a young age she’d suffered a “hemorrhagic” stroke. A blood vessel had actually popped in her brain.
The medical team would need to move quickly to save both her life, and the life of her son…
A Quick Prognosis
Thankfully Mandy’s diagnoses was a quick one. Doctors told her she would need to have an emergency C-section if she wanted to save the life of her unborn child. The emergency birth went smoothly, but immediately after they stitched Mandy up they gave her an MRI and confirmed that she had so much pressure inside of her skull that she had a herniated brain stem. She would need to go into another very complex surgery right away.
A Second Procedure
The medical team airlifted Mandy to Swedish Medical Center where she would undergo intense neuro-surgery. Even doctors thought it was likely that she would never have the opportunity to meet her newborn child. “We deal with a lot of tragedies in our profession and to be honest, I expected this to be another tragedy,” said Dr. Adam Hebb, a Neurosurgeon at Swedish Medical Center to Fox 31. “In Mandy’s case, seconds and minutes meant a huge difference to her”.