BOISE -- Each year thousands of people across the country suffer strokes. Unfortunately, many of these people also experience long term side effects, including difficulty with communication and moving.
In Idaho there is a new treatment that gives stroke victims a better chance at a full recovery. Meridian's Diane Bissell was the first patient in the state to have the procedure.
Bissell had a stroke at the beginning of October. She was driving home from work when it happened.
"All of a sudden my foot would not work on the gas pedal," said Bissell.
She couldn't push the brake either. Bissell's stoke left her paralyzed on her entire right side. Eventually, Bissell's truck coasted to a stop on the side of the road. People nearby knew something wasn't right and called 911.
Bissell was taken to St. Alphonsus and rushed into surgery.
"The sooner you can get to them the more likely you are to save more brain tissue," said Dr. Anthony Giauque, a Interventional Neuroradiologist, and Bissell's surgeon.
Dr. Giauque knew he had to act fast. He decided to use a new tool called a Trevo Pro Retriever to clear the clot.
"It offers them more hope because it gets the vessels open quicker and more often," said Dr. Giauque.
The Trevo allows doctors to run a catheter up a blood vessel in the patient's groin, through the heart and directly into their brain.
Dr. Giauque says it is a step up in stroke treatment. That's because in the past it could have taken several hours to clear Diane's clot. It took Dr. Giauque 30 minutes and one try with the Trevo.
As soon as the clot was cleared, Bissell regained all her movement.
Bissell had her stroke on a Monday, and by Friday she was heading home. She returned to work just two weeks later.
Bissell and her husband say they are incredibly thankful for Dr. Giauque.
"I don't worry about life as much as I used to either," said Bissell. "I guess I'm thinking that I'm living on borrowed time."
The Trevo technology can't reverse stroke side effects, so Dr. Giauque says it is important that patients come in immediately if they think they are having a stroke.
He says the longer you wait after a stroke, the more brain tissue dies.