Keith Davis, a young healthy triathlete, thought he was having a stroke. At Wake Forest Baptist, Dr. Patrick Reynolds, neurologist, diagnosed him with a transient ischemic attack (TIA) – also called a mini-stroke. A TIA occurs when blood flow to the brain suddenly stops for a short time, causing stroke-like symptoms.
Through a collaborative effort between neurology and interventional cardiology, it was discovered that Keith had a patent foramen ovale (PFO) – a hole in a wall of the heart which is actually a common abnormality that is usually present from birth (congenital). While most people with a PFO never even know they have it, on occasion it can cause a blood clot that can lead to a stroke.Dr. Sanjay Gandhi, interventional cardiologist, discussed Keith’s treatment options with him and his family and it was decided that Keith would have a procedure called a PFO closure to fix the hole and reduce his risk for a future stroke.