Marysville News

City resident credits new device for saving her life


A Marysville woman says she was given a second chance at life, thanks to a new procedure developed at Riverside Methodist Hospital.

"A stroke is no longer a death sentence," said Janet Shonebarger, 68, a stroke survivor.

Shonebarger said a new procedure using a device called a Solitaire clot-retriever was performed by Dr. Ronald Budzik, neurointerventional radiologist, on June 13.

The quick thinking of her significant other, Jerry Bell, was the first step in saving Shonebarger's life.

Bell said she got up to go the bathroom around 3:45 a.m. and when she came back to bed, he felt her pulling on the covers. But she did not stop. The restlessness caused him to turn the light on.

"I could see the left side of her face drooped and she couldn't lift her left arm. I thought it must be a stroke," Bell said.

Emergency crews agreed with him and rushed her to Union County Memorial Hospital.

From there, Shonebarger was flown by MedFlight to Riverside Methodist Hospital to undergo the procedure.

Dr. Budzik called Bell and Shonebarger's family in the car as they drove to meet him at the hospital. He told them he would not have time to talk to them once they arrived because he was already prepping for surgery.

The couple had heard about the Solitaire procedure in a radio ad just days before her stroke, which is why he requested she be taken to Riverside.

Riverside was the second hospital in the country to start using the Solitaire clot retriever.

"We were a testing site for the device -- which people are now calling a 'game-changer' in fighting stroke," said Missy Gleason, media relations manager for OhioHealth.

The device is offered by Covidien, a healthcare product company. It aims to restore blood flow by removing blood clots from a large intracranial vessel in patients who experience ischemic stroke within eight hours of symptom onset.

"The doctor had done the same surgery four other times that day," Shonebarger said.

"In about an hour and 15 minutes, we went up to her room and the droopiness was gone and she had strength back in her left arm," Bell said.

After the surgery, the doctor showed Shonebarger pictures of the clot on his iPad.

"Once it was out of my brain, it was fine," Shonebarger said.

Shonebarger's mother died of a stroke at age 78 and her grandmother died of a stroke in her 60s.

But she credits the Solitaire procedure with giving her a different outcome.

"This could save another life," she said.