Struck by a Life-Threatening AVM, One Young Woman Bounces Back Thanks to Lenox Hill Surgeons
As an active 30-year-old, Danielle Manapat initially didn’t take too much notice of odd sensations she began feeling in her arms. She thought the cause was fatigue or overstrenuous workouts. Yet, as she rode the train to work on a typical Monday morning in February 2015, these sensations were followed by a partial seizure. Her boyfriend, who was with her at the time, knew immediately something was wrong, and helped her get off the train and to the nearest hospital.
While waiting in the emergency room, Danielle experienced a second, more serious seizure. Her next memory was waking up in a hospital bed surrounded by family. Dr. David Langer and Dr. Rafael Ortiz explained to Danielle and her loved ones that she had suffered a hemorrhage in her brain caused by an arteriovenous malformation (AVM).
“The doctors and nurses were incredibly informative and comforting,” recalls Danielle. “They calmed my fears and made my family feel so comfortable. The doctors let me ask questions and took the time to explain exactly what treatment I needed. I never felt like I was alone.”
Danielle’s first two procedures were embolizations to stop the flow of blood into the AVM, performed by Dr. Ortiz, Chief, Neuro-Endovascular Surgery and Interventional Neuroradiology at Lenox Hill Hospital. This was followed up by a craniotomy by Dr. Langer, Chief of the Division of Neurosurgery at Lenox Hill Hospital to eliminate the risk of another hemorrhage.
After the successful procedures, Danielle remained at Lenox Hill Hospital for a week before being transferred to a rehabilitation facility for one week. At first, Danielle experienced significant right-side weakness and required physical, speech and occupational therapy.
“I was worried about my recovery and the extent of my muscle weakness,” says Danielle, “but both Dr. Langer and Dr. Ortiz assured me that I would be able to regain my strength. All the way through the process, they were really good about helping me understand what I could expect during and after the surgeries.”
Danielle was able to return to work by the end of July, and feels that she has almost completely recovered with only minor physical weakness remaining. As she continues her recovery, she’s looking forward to returning to barre class and gives thanks to the dedicated team at Lenox Hill Hospital who helped her overcome this unexpected chapter in her young life.
“I had a wonderful experience at Lenox Hill Hospital,” says Danielle. “Saying thank you isn’t enough. Dr. Ortiz and Dr. Langer were so positive and supportive throughout the experience. They helped me physically and emotionally. I am forever grateful.”