Casual Talk with Doc Saved Nurse's Life

Article excerpt

Byline: Vanessa McCray Toledo Blade

TOLEDO, Ohio -- It started with a headache and pain in Olivia Cox's shoulder, arm and back.

Cox, a longtime surgical nurse at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo, continued to work despite a painful case of shingles, and she mentioned her symptoms in a casual operating-room conversation with Dr. Paul Clark, a vascular surgeon.

The discussion took place in late September, and it sparked the discovery of a large cerebral aneurysm behind Cox's left eye. A Nov. 27 procedure took place at St. Vincent, where the minimally invasive technique used is so new to the hospital that Cox didn't know about it until she needed it.

"I was very lucky," said Cox, 58, of Petersburg, Mich.

It started with a headache and some left-side pain.

Cox wasn't too concerned about shingles. She figured: "You get old, and stuff starts hurting, and, you know, you still go to work." When she told Clark about her symptoms, he advised her to look into it.

"I thought it might be something else," he said.

It was a passing conversation, but he said he took it seriously because she didn't look well, and he hadn't heard her talk about headaches before. Cox said Clark's office arranged for an appointment with Dr. Ahmed Arshad, a neurologist, who ordered an MRI.

"If Dr. Clark's office had not gotten me that appointment I probably would have had a rough time getting in to see a neurologist because they are so busy," she said. …