Pregnant mother with blood clot saved with rare surgery

Posted at 4:57 PM, Aug 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-09 17:00:51-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A pregnant mother living with a blood clot in her brain was saved after doctors at Mercy Health St. Mary's performed a rare surgery that had only been done once before.

Mindy Simon, 37, says it started with a simple headache. She's a mother of two and says her symptoms were similar to being pregnant, so she bought a test kit and found out she was carrying baby number three.

However, the pain only worsened and quickly began affecting her motor skills. Mindy went to the hospital and doctors identified a massive blood clot in her brain.

"I relate it to plumbing, without any outflow in the brain, there's a build-up of pressure," said Dr. Baljit Deol, Director of NeuroInterventional Surgery at Mercy Health St. Mary's.

On the brink of having a stroke, Dr. Baljit Deol and his team rushed Mindy into surgery but were unable to clear the blood clot using traditional methods. 24 hours later, she went in for another surgery called Dural Veins Sinus Thrombectomy Thrombolysis.

Doctors drilled a hole in Mindy's skull and cleared the blood clot altogether.

"From our research, this was the second time it's been performed worldwide," said Dr. Deol. "If we didn't open this (vein) up, unfortunately it would have led to the demise of the baby too."

Dr. Deol says Mindy's bravery to undergo the surgery and quick thinking from the team at Mercy Health St. Mary's saved her life.

Wednesday, Mindy's family was able to have a heartfelt reunion with the same doctors that saved her life. Her daughter was born July 20 and is in good health.