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Raghuram Sampath, MD

Raghuram Sampath, MD

Hialeah 33016, West Palm Beach 33409

Creating Hope

Zaida’s Story

Zaida Lago

At that time, she says, I looked forward to continuing my recovery and didn’t waste any time in playing and being with my three grandkids once again.

It was Friday night and we were driving to a family dinner with friends when a dizziness spell hit. I was riding in one of the rear seats of the car looking at my phone and told my husband, Juan Carlos, about the woozy feeling I was experiencing. At first, he thought it may have to do with looking at the screen too long. This was the first precursor to a severe subarachnoid hemorrhage and multiple aneurysms occurring inside of my brain. I don’t remember anything else from that night and for the majority of the next three weeks, but my husband and family were there every step of the way during the life-saving care I received. Here is the story from his perspective:

After my wife Zaida went through the dizzy spell in the car we made it to our table for dinner when my sister-in-law came over for a quick picture. Right after the photo, my wife was sitting down in a chair when she clenched her fists, put her head down on the table and fell unconscious. My son was there and quickly called 911. In the meantime, there was a doctor in the restaurant’s bar area.

We still don’t know the name of the doctor but we are forever grateful for his initial help caring for my wife before fire-rescue took over and took her to nearby North Shore Medical Center. Thank God our family doctor and friend, was there with us. He was instrumental in Zaida’s transfer to Palmetto General Hospital and placed her in the right hands. Over the next three weeks, Dr. Raghuram Sampath, a cerebrovascular and skull base neurosurgeon, and Dr. Ritesh Kaushal, an interventional neurologist, along with the neurosurgery team, made every effort to save my wife from a variety of neurological ailments. During the first of a series of surgeries, a drain was put in right away at Palmetto General Hospital to relieve the high level of pressure in her brain due to the hemorrhaging. Next, she had an angiogram, performed by Dr. Ritesh Kaushal, the leading interventional neurologist at the hospital. I remember the neurosurgeon that placed the brain shunt telling me that her intracranial pressure (ICP) inside of her brain measured at a very high rate of 280 mm. A normal ICP pressure is in the 7 – 15 mm range.

Zaida and Juan Carlos LagoThey found two aneurysms inside my wife’s brain, near the Circle of Willis, which is the area where the big arteries enter into the brain and that’s why this was so dangerous to my wife’s health. Dr. Kaushal was able to provide treatment for one o the aneurysms located in the posterior left region of her brain by using an endovascular coiling technique. The other aneurysm was positioned in the anterior right region of her brain. Due to the shape of the anterior aneurysm, it couldn’t be treated with a coiling technique. This first aneurysm, the left side posterior, was a bleed and the second aneurysm, right side anterior, was an artery with a large bulging neck, right on top at the split point. Dr. Kaushal explained the anterior aneurysm would have to be treated by microsurgical clipping to stop blood flow into the aneurysm. This type of treatment would need the expertise of Dr. Raghuram Sampath, an expert cerebrovascular and skull base neurosurgeon on-staff at the hospital.

By then, our family and children were very concerned as this was a major surgery. Our older son flew in from California. Dr. Sampath met me at the hospital early Sunday morning while my wife was in and out of consciousness. My wife is a fighter, while intubated she was trying to talk. Zaida said, “I was trying to speak but I couldn’t, surprisingly by then I could write things down. I think it was a relief to my family that I could still communicate with them coherently through the written word.”

Later on Sunday morning, Dr. Sampath performed a microsurgical clipping procedure to provide treatment of the remaining aneurysm inside of my wife’s brain. It is my understanding that Dr. Sampath had to navigate around, under the brain for this procedure, which in layman’s terms looks like a little paper clip placed around the neck of the aneurysm to stop the bleeding in the brain from the problematic aneurysm rupture. After the six-hour procedure, Dr. Sampath walked out to greet our entire family in the surgical waiting room and told us my wife’s surgery was a success. Dr. Sampath was always very conservative and assuring.

“I call Dr. Sampath my guardian angel,” Zaida says.

Everyone at Palmetto General Hospital was top-notch, Juan Carlos says.

After three weeks of intense recovery, Zaida walked out of Palmetto General Hospital. Over the following months, Zaida resumed a quality of life she enjoyed before her ailments.

“I am so blessed to be here,” Zaida said.

At that time, she says, I looked forward to continuing my recovery and didn’t waste any time in playing and being with my three grandkids once again.

Creating Hope

Kaneeshia’s Story

Kaneeshia Jackson

I would do anything for Dr. Sampath because he was able to save me from a silent ailment I knew nothing about until that initial, almost fatal seizure.

Remembering back, I was having a stressful month where I wasn’t getting enough sleep. I had been working overnights 11PM – 7AM for 15-years straight as a certified nursing assistant (CNA). One day, we had just finished moving into a new residence and the electric company had turned the power on in time, but the water company was a little behind. In the morning, after my long shift, instead of going to sleep, I decided to ask my husband to drive us to the water utility department to see what could be done. We were in the car, and I turned around to say something, and the next thing I knew, I woke up at St. Mary’s Medical Center. I had a seizure and completely blacked out.

When I woke up, I saw two doctors, Dr. Raghuram Sampath, a specialist in neurosurgery, and Dr. Nils Mueller-Kronast, an interventional neurologist, and they were discussing why it was imperative I have a surgery for the arteriovenous malformation (AVM) they found inside of my brain. I had to undergo several vascular surgical procedures. I was young enough and the AVM was on the surface of my brain, so the surgery wouldn’t be as extensive. Until I had the surgery, I was on strong seizure medicine so I couldn’t go to work.

At my consultation with Dr. Sampath, he said I could either have surgery for the AVM or I could stay on anti-seizure medications. I went home my family and told them that this was what was being said. I thought to myself that if the surgery could remove this completely, then I don’t have to worry about whether anti-seizure medication is going to work or not. Furthermore, Dr. Sampath said that if the AVM was removed, then the seizures would stop, I wouldn’t have to be on seizure medication, and things would eventually get back to normal. Dr. Sampath took the time to explain this to me and my husband. Dr. Sampath was very patient with me.

Dr. Sampath told me that usually they go in and put a couple of clamps on smaller arteries, and the big vein is removed with the AVM. But, because my vein was also crucial for my brain’s blood flow outlet, they couldn’t remove it. This was very unique, and something that Dr. Sampath and his Palm Beach County Cerebrovascular Team at St. Mary’s Medical Center dealt with in a different way. They removed the AVM tangled mass, but left the veins still draining blood from my brain to my heart. Dr. Sampath said what was also complex, was the AVM was beneath the vein that they had to preserve.

He saved my life. Because of that, I love that man. He couldn’t just snip and remove stuff; my main vein had to stay. The next day, Dr. Mueller came in and everything checked out fine. I woke up in the hospital after the neurosurgery, and went home the next day.

Going into Dr. Sampath’s Palm Beach Neuroscience Institute office is a blast. Everyone is so attentive, helpful and personable. You really don’t see that going into a doctor’s office. Dr. Sampath said once I finish my seizure medication, I can go back to work. As a CNA at a nursing home, I work on the recovery floor where some people are coming from surgery at the hospital, and the other half need long-term skilled-nursing needs. Sometimes we have up to 15-20 patients a night.

I would do anything for Dr. Sampath because he was able to save me from a silent ailment I knew nothing about until that initial, almost fatal seizure. Dr. Sampath came in to see me when I was recovering at the hospital. Apparently my AVM is hereditary. My daughter remembers telling me before the seizure, your eyes are blood shot. She said that I told her I had a bad headache, and that I just wanted to go to sleep.

After the surgery with Dr. Sampath, I just had all of my labs run, and everything was good, my blood work, kidneys, heart and brain, everything is working great! My family is happy Dr. Sampath figured out this seizure ailment I suffered unexpectedly. I walked the following day after having neurosurgery. You can’t even see where Dr. Sampath had to remove part of my skull to get to my brain. I feel so much better health wise since this procedure was performed. The one thing that it made me do, is rest, and focus on creating healthier sleeping habits.

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