Friday, January 21, 2011


This past Monday was the 4 year anniversary of when I had a stroke. I was 22 at the time and had just started my last semester of nursing school. I had a PFO (Patent Foramen Ovale), a birth defect of the heart that was undetected and blood clot went through to my brain. I had a heart catheterization in which a cardiologist placed a device to permanently close the hole. I regained movement of my left side with in a couple days and was released from the hospital after only a 4 day stay. I was so blessed to be young at the time and have a young body and brain able to recover so quickly with no deficits. I just wanted to share some of the pictures from that hospital stay and the device in my heart that permanently closed the PFO.

My hospital room with so many pretty flowers:

The giraffe is from my friend Katharine who sat with my aunt and I in the hospital after her 12 hour clinical shift until my parents got there. It was like 2 a.m. I'm sure she was exhausted. {Side note: my parents were both out of town. Dad was in Colorado for a ski trip and had to fight delayed flights to get back. And mom was in Florida} The big pink bear is from the 2 kids I babysat for  >10years. So Sweet.

 From my parents:

 Amplatzer PFO Occluder
Please do not judge. I look like a corpse in that bed. But these are some of my nursing school friends who came to visit {2 are my cousins!}.
I learned what it was to be a patient that week. I hope I never forget that feeling so I will always treat my patients with compassion and help them in any way I can during such a compromising time in their life.


  1. without pain we would not have compassion. my dad always says this. great post Lauren:)

  2. Omgoodness. I would have had no idea. You are blessed (which you know) and I'm sure this helps you be a great nurse. There are certainly nurses out there who could stand to learn the skill of compassion. Hugs!

  3. I just stumbled upon your blog!
    I am a KY girl too!

    Wow, such a scary thing to go through at such a young age I am sure! God had a plan for you:)

  4. What a post Lauren. I cannot imagine how scary this was for you to go through, especially at such a young age. But what a mighty blessing from the Lord in your recovery.
    I absolutely love the first sentence in the first comment, "without pain we would not have compassion"