It took a team of dedicated and fast-acting professionals to save Jennifer Boyce’s life.
A trip to the emergency room for back pain ended with life-saving brain surgery for Jennifer after a battery of tests. An MRI revealed numerous infections and abscesses on her brain, and the buildup of pressure and swelling was pushing her brain down through the base of her skull.
Anthony Petraglia, MD, a neurosurgeon with Rochester Regional Health, read the MRI results and literally ran from his office to her hospital room in Intensive Care. The pressure needed to be relieved and the largest abscess, located in the temporal lobe on the right side of her brain, had to be removed. Every second was critical if Jennifer was to survive.
“She had started to decline rapidly,” Dr. Petraglia says “The MRI showed widespread infection, with several intercranial abscesses. Sometimes, we see people with two or three; she had at least 17. The MRI showed she was actively hemorrhaging.”
Jennifer’s husband Jeremy was forced to make a quick, life-altering decision.
“In the first 30 seconds of talking with Dr. P, I could see that he was a very diligent, thoughtful and meticulous guy,” he says. “I said, ‘Do what you’ve got to do.’”
After a long recovery that included two weeks in a rehab facility, as well as hours of physical and occupational therapy, Jennifer is doing well and back at work.
“What is unique at Rochester Regional Health is the team-coordinated approach to patient care,” Dr. Petraglia says. “You can’t go it alone. Everyone needed to pull together, not just in the operating room, but in the IC unit, on the floor and in rehab. Any one of those things alone would not have done the trick. It really required everyone to come together to pull her across the finish line.”
Jennifer says, “It is because of Dr. Petraglia that my son has a mom.”