Lisa's Story Heart Monitoring for Unexplained Stroke

Finding answers with the Reveal LINQ™ ICM System

In Her Patients’ Shoes: Lisa’s Stroke Story 

For more than 10 years, Lisa has been a stroke coordinator and has cared for stroke patients in Wausau, Wisconsin, ensuring they get the best treatment and helping them in their recovery. She is a stroke expert.

One morning in August 2017, Lisa learned even more about stroke — she learned what it was like to actually have one.

At the age of 51, Lisa was rushed to the hospital, her workplace, and saw the familiar faces of her coworkers who were now treating her. Luckily, Lisa received medical care quickly, but even then, she experienced several post-stroke conditions including facial droop and arm weakness. After several tests, her stroke care team couldn’t tell her what caused her stroke. Her stroke was a cryptogenic stroke, or a stroke of unknown cause.

In the months following her stroke, Lisa worked hard to recover, both physically and mentally. She found her physical recovery to be progressing, but mentally, she was stressed. She didn’t know what had caused her stroke and she didn’t know if, or when, it would happen again. Lisa, an independent and adventurous woman before her stroke, was scared and afraid to be alone.

Finding Peace of Mind — and Atrial Fibrillation

Lisa’s doctor suggested they use the Reveal LINQ insertable cardiac monitoring (ICM) system to monitor Lisa’s heart and determine if her stroke could have been caused by atrial fibrillation (AF). AF is a common condition in which the upper chambers of the heart beat very fast and irregularly. As a result, blood is not pumped effectively to the rest of the body and may pool and clot. If a clot dislodges, it can travel to the brain and result in a stroke. AF can happen infrequently and without symptoms and, when left untreated, AF patients are five times more likely to have a stroke. 

With the Reveal LINQ ICM continuously monitoring Lisa’s heart for irregular heart rhythms, Lisa found peace of mind and started gaining her independence back. She felt comfort knowing that if she was having irregular rhythms, her monitor would find them and her doctor would be informed. 

Almost one year later, the ICM detected AF. Using information from the monitor, Lisa’s doctor prescribed medication to help prevent Lisa's AF from causing another stroke.

Lisa is now back to work. She immediately noticed that her care for stroke patients has changed because of her experience — she can put herself in their shoes. She truly understands their fears, and she’s able to share her personal experiences of what helped her get through the challenges of stroke recovery.

This story reflects one person's experience. Not every person will receive the same results. Talk to your doctor about your treatment options.