Carly Nunn had her future mapped out. She was going to finish her bachelor’s degree at the University of Cincinnati before moving on to her career in social work. After an internship at Lighthouse Youth & Family Services, she knew she wanted to make a difference and serve as a role model.
But Carly’s path would take a major detour in the early morning of Nov. 13, 2018. As she was settling in for the night, she lost feeling in her right hand.
“All of a sudden, I got very dizzy and laid back. I felt like I was spinning,” Carly said. “I tried to sit up and noticed I couldn’t move anything.”
She was able to get the attention of one of her roommates, who called 911 for her.
Paramedics would transport Carly to UC Medical Center, where she would have a CT angiogram. Doctors found that she had an arteriovenous malformation, or AVM, that had ruptured. An AVM is an abnormal tangling of blood vessels that occurs in the brain.
The young, healthy 21-year-old was having a stroke and a brain aneurysm. She was unable to speak or walk.
Jonathan Forbes, MD, UC Health neurosurgeon and assistant professor of neurology at the UC College of Medicine, removed her AVM just days later. Aaron W. Grossman, MD, PhD, neurointerventionalist at the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute, UC Health neurologist and associate professor of neurology at the UC College of Medicine, also assisted in Carly’s lifesaving care.
“Carly’s amazing story, from her initial care through her recovery, is a great example of the multidisciplinary care we provide ourselves at UC Health,” Dr. Grossman said. “Nurses, therapists and physicians working hand in hand to restore function and hope.”
Both Dr. Forbes and Dr. Grossman supported Carly every step of the way on her journey. They kept constant communication with her and her family. They made her feel safe and comfortable, even during a frightening and frustrating time.
In addition, nurses always offered their support to Carly by decorating her room and giving her positive reinforcement.
“I had the most amazing nurses I could ever ask for,” Carly said. “They really changed my entire outlook on life, because all of this happened only a couple weeks before the end of my first semester of my senior year of college.”