Welcome to Andrea Vail's CaringBridge site. This site was established on behalf of Andrea to share information about her recent health crisis and keep family and friends updated on her progress. We appreciate your support and words of encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
On March 20th, Andrea experienced a vertebral artery dissection following a chiropractic adjustment. As a result, a clot formed at the site of the arterial damage and bloodflow to the brain was interrupted. Andrea immediately experienced symptoms of stroke becoming flaccid and losing control of her arms and legs. Paramedics were called to the office and Andrea was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul.
MRI showed three areas of stroke in the brain caused by blockage from the clot with the largest area being in the cerebellum. Andrea was treated with TPA which dissolved the clot and helped to reverse some of her stroke symptoms. Specifically, she was able to move her arms and legs again and her speech was a bit less garbled, but she was a far cry from normal. Andrea was admitted to Neurological Intensive care unit where she was placed on 1:1 nursing care under close observation and monitoring of her vital signs and neurological status.
The family has kept constant vigil since her admission and they have learned that another stroke remains a continued risk and will for some time. Andrea experienced significant headaches, especially the first 24-48 hours as her brain swelled in response to the injury caused by the stroke. Pain medication was given, but obviously they did not want to sedate her to the point of being unable to assess her neuro status.
On Thursday, March 21st, CT scan showed increased swelling and Andrea went to surgery in the early evening to have a portion of her skull removed to make room for her swelling brain. A drain to accomodate any pressure changes was also inserted that could be opened or closed off as needed. She tolerated surgery well and the neuro surgeon said timing was critical as the brain needed to have the pressure removed and immediately expanded when they opened the skull. Andrea does not understand exactly what has happened so it is often explained to her that she had a stroke and then had surgery to relieve pressure on her brain.
On Friday, March 22nd, Andrea rested. Visits are limited to family since it’s critical that she not be stimulated unnecessarily in order for her brain to rest and heal. She was finally able to turn in bed a little bit, but not sit or have too much movement, something she needs constant reminders of as she is restless and wants to get up, not quite understanding why she is not allowed up and what is going on.
Andrea faces a long, long road to recovery. The stroke she experienced will require that she go to rehab care following this hospitalization. She remains in the intensive care unit and each day continues to be somewhat tense and difficult for family as we know risks remain. This is only the beginning and we pray she has no additional strokes or complications. We know the coming days and weeks are critical for her, but that her youth and good general health will help aid her recovery.
As a busy working mother of four children Andrea will need the support of her family and friends for quite some time. We thank you in advance for your prayers and for coming to her Caring Bridge site. Any assistance you are able to provide her family going forward will be a blessing. Since any donations made on this CaringBridge site go to Caring Bridge and not to Andrea, we are working to establish a site or link for donations to Andrea. We will continue to post updates as her journey back to health continues. May God bless you and watch over her and her loved ones.
Thank you for taking this journey with her! Your messages of encouragement are welcome and needed!