Lucky escape for Claydon woman after mini-stroke tests reveal blocked artery in neck

Christine Durrant with Ipswich Hospital stroke consultant Dr Sajid Alam

Christine Durrant with Ipswich Hospital stroke consultant Dr Sajid Alam - Credit: Archant

A woman from Claydon says she is lucky to be alive after a visit to the hospital following two ‘mini-strokes’ revealed an artery in her neck was 95% blocked.

Christine Durrant with Ipswich Hospital stroke consultant Dr Sajid Alam. Christine is urging anyone

Christine Durrant with Ipswich Hospital stroke consultant Dr Sajid Alam. Christine is urging anyone with similar symptoms to seek medical treatment fast - Credit: Archant

Christine Durrant, 64, was sent to Ipswich Hospital at the end of January after she noticed a thin see-through veil descend over her eye twice within ten days.

She was sent for urgent tests which revealed she had suffered two transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs), often described as ‘mini strokes’.

Tests also revealed the carotid artery in her neck, which carries blood to the brain, was 95% blocked.

“I was walking around with a ticking time bomb in my neck and will never know how close it came to going off,” she said.

A CT (computed tomography) scan of Christine�s blocked carotid artery. The red arrow shows severe na

A CT (computed tomography) scan of Christine�s blocked carotid artery. The red arrow shows severe narrowing. - Credit: Archant

She was rushed to Colchester Hospital the day after receiving the news for emergency surgery to widen the artery and was able to return home the day after.

“I felt absolutely fine and had no symptoms other than this see-through grey curtain descending over my eye, then disappearing a few seconds later,” she said.

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“I’m so pleased it happened twice because that’s what prompted me to get checked out by my optician and is the reason I’m still here today.”

Mrs Durrant has urged others to get themselves checked and seek medical treatment fast if they suffer similar symptoms.

Christine Durrant with Ipswich Hospital stroke consultant Dr Sajid Alam

Christine Durrant with Ipswich Hospital stroke consultant Dr Sajid Alam - Credit: Archant

TIAs are caused by a temporary disruption in blood flow to part of the brain and can cause symptoms close to those of a stroke including blurred vision, slurred speech and numbness and weakness in the face, arms and legs.

The effects often only span a few minutes or hours and usually fully disappear within 24 hours.

Mrs Durrant thanked medics for her treatment as well as her optometrist Hillary Hayes.

She said: “I was so impressed with how quickly the tests took place at Ipswich and then my surgery at Colchester.

“Although I’ve got a big scar (from hospital surgery), it’s a small price to pay.”

Dr Sajid Alam, a consultant in stroke medicine at Ipswich Hospital, said they aim to see patients within 24 hours of suspected TIA to prevent them having a full stroke at a later stage.

He said: “Anyone who experiences transient symptoms which then resolve themselves should get them checked out urgently, as they may be a sign that a stroke is around the corner.”

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