Patients & Visitors

Saving a Life Others Could Not


June 7, 2012 started as an ordinary girls’ day out for Deanna and her mother, Melissa. But it became extremely out-of-the-ordinary in a hurry. Shortly after returning home, Deanna started feeling sick. Her body was going numb, her head was killing her, and she was having trouble breathing.

It only took minutes for paramedics to arrive but by then she had collapsed and couldn’t move.

17-Year-Old Deanna Was Having a Stroke

Paramedics took her to the nearest hospital where a CAT scan was performed. The results revealed that a massive aneurysm had caused the stroke. “The doctors came out and asked if I had family in the area. He said to contact them because it wasn’t looking good,” says Melissa. Deanna was immediately airlifted to Phoenix Children’s Hospital to be treated by the specialists at Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s. This is the only pediatric neurosciences program in Arizona ranked by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals. “As soon as we arrived everything was different—they showed us love and encouragement right from the start. They assured me they were going to take care of my daughter, and that’s exactly what they did.”

Deanna underwent surgery at Phoenix Children’s where neurosurgeons removed a blood clot and the abnormal blood vessels that were bleeding into her brain. Though they expected Deanna to have some paralysis on her left side, she recovered with only a little numbness. A few months later, Deanna suffered a grand mal seizure and was once again treated by her lead surgeon, Dr. P. David Adelson.

Back to Her Regularly Scheduled Life

Today, Deanna leads a happy, typical teenage life. Her favorite activities are writing, drawing and sports (which she admits she takes a bit easier these days). “She’s doing wonderfully,” says Melissa. “Phoenix Children’s is a heaven-sent hospital because my daughter was about to leave us. Now, her life is back to normal. She’s graduating on time. She’s a blessing.”

Deanna is on anti-seizure medication and goes back to Barrow at Phoenix Children’s every other month or so for check-ups. But she doesn’t mind. “The doctors and nurses at Phoenix Children’s are so great,” says Deanna. “They make me feel like family, not just someone in the hospital. I honestly didn’t think I was going to live. I’m here today because of them.”


Watch Deanna's Video

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