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Effie Mabe: Saved by a Cold

Effie Mabe isn't the sort who wants to talk about herself. However, doing for others and being there for her family is what Effie is about.

When Effie got sick with a cold that lingered, her whole family was worried. When they finally convinced her to go to the doctor, Effie was asked to return for a CT scan. Later, she and several family members were asked to come in and see Effie's primary physician, Dr. Lynn Loving. They learned Effie had a series of aneurysms along her aorta.

Aneurysms are areas of a blood vessel that have become stretched and balloon outward. The stretched tissue is much weaker than normal, and a slight rise in blood pressure can cause a rupture. In the brain, such ruptures cause stroke. In the aorta, the main artery carrying blood from the heart to the rest of the body, the danger is massive internal bleeding.

Because of Effie's age and general health, GSH’s vascular surgeons performed the extensive surgery she needed entirely with laparoscopic techniques. During surgery, they discovered blockages in arteries in Effie's legs and inserted stents to open the vessels and further improve her circulation.

The cold that brought Effie in to see her doctor had nothing to do with the serious problem her doctor detected. Unfortunately, this is common: aortic aneurysms generally cause few, if any, symptoms. The best indicator for this disorder is a family history of the aneurysms.

For Effie, never a complainer and not one to visit the doctor unless very sick, that cold was exactly what she needed. Because of that minor illness, she went to the doctor and had the chest x-ray that showed Dr. Loving the first signs of dangerous aneurysms.

Today, Effie is home with her family and finally letting someone care for her for a change.