GREEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Quick action and a new medical device meant the difference between survival and death for one Green Township woman.
Alexis Brady, 32, was having a hard time getting around and felt like something just wasn’t right.
“When I got to the top of my stairs, I was extremely tired – extremely winded,” she said.
Brady went to a medical clinic complaining of shortness of breath on March 5. The staff tested her for COVID-19; she tested negative. Symptoms came and went, but on April 15, things took a turn for the worse: She passed out and hit her head on the way to the floor. After she came to, she called her mom, dad and 911.
“I heard them banging (on the door) real hard,” Brady said. ”I opened the door, and by the time I got there, I was tired and exhausted. I'm like, ‘I can't breathe. I can't breathe.’”
The emergency room identified the problem: a pulmonary embolism, or a blood clot in her chest, making breathing feel almost impossible.
“She was really sick,” Mercy West interventional cardiologist Dr. Adam Raskin explained. “She, dramatic as it may sound, was dying: very low blood pressure, very difficult for her to oxygenate.”
They found the clot at the bottom of her lung on the left side, and that’s where the Inari FlowTriever device — with its new, bent attachment — helped get Brady from the emergency room to her bedroom 24 hours later.
“Had to use a special insert — no one’s used it, at least in the Cincinnati market, new to us," Raskin explained, describing the device they used to clear out the clot. "It’s curved. That curve allowed us to get down in the lung.”
That new attachment gave them access to vacuum out the clot and produced an immediate result.
“I’m thankful,” Brady said. “I really can’t thank them enough, to be honest.”
Rankin said she has an undiagnosed genetic disposition for the clots, something that affects 1-2% of the population.
“This is a disease that kills people,” he said. “I’m so lucky she’s here with us today and running around like nothing ever happened.”
Because of that predisposition, Brady has to be vigilant about it. Her story also brings up another important lesson: If you still feel like something's wrong with you after you get checked out, go get a second opinion.