“I would hate for anybody to have to go through what I did,” is how Sandra Aragona, of Kenosha, summed up her feelings about her health. Until recently that is.
“I had been having issues for a couple years,” said Sandra - a wife, mother of three, and grandmother of nine. “My balance was way off and I had headaches. My hands were shaking so bad that sometimes I couldn’t use my telephone or tablet. At times, I struggled to find words, and my speech was slow and slurred,” Sandra recalled. “In the summer, I love being in my pool. Not being able to go swimming was killing me. I got in the water only once or twice last summer, and had to have assistance getting out.
Then I developed shoulder pain from arthritis and disc problems in my spine,” Sandra said.
That is when Sandra went to see Dr. Arvind Ahuja, a neurosurgeon and neuroendovascular specialist with the Froedtert South Medical Group performed Sandra’s back surgery twenty years ago. “Dr. Ahuja gave me injections that relieved my shoulder pain,” Sandra said. “Then later, when I was seeing Dr. Ahuja in his office for a follow-up appointment, I suddenly began feeling really ill. Dr. Ahuja immediately sent me to the Emergency Department.”
“A cerebral angiogram showed that Sandra had a severe blockage in her right carotid artery,” Dr. Ahuja said. “The reduction in blood flow to her brain put her at great risk for a major stroke. I performed a minimally invasive angioplasty, using a balloon at the end of a catheter to enlarge her carotid artery, and inserted a stent to keep the blood vessel open,” Dr. Ahuja said. “After the procedure, Sandra improved dramatically. She is now able to walk without assistance and has returned to all her normal activities.”
“Everything is better. I can do everything that I want to do,” Sandra said. “I love cooking, and now I can cook again. And I’m going to be swimming a lot more next summer.”
“I love Dr. Ahuja. I hug him every time I see him,” Sandra said. “He’s a very sweet man, gentle and soft spoken, which makes me feel relaxed. When he performed my back surgery, I told everybody I would trust him with my life. Sure enough, twenty years later, he saved my life because I’m sure I would have had a stroke.”