Courageously, the 38-year-old radiation oncologist has been battling lupus which affected her lungs and kidneys. While receiving kidney dialysis last year, Melenda Jeter tried to walk to a scale to weigh herself. Suddenly, she experienced a “heavy” sensation in her left arm and leg. Moments later, she was lying in a chair surrounded by nurses shouting, “stroke protocol, stroke protocol!”
She was rushed to the Emergency Department at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital. After suffering minor seizures, the St. Luke’s stroke team discovered that her blood pressure was elevated and she was paralyzed on her left side. Melenda was afraid that she would never walk again.
She was administered rt-PA (clot-busting medication) and then admitted to the Neuro ICU for further care. The team also determined that her right brain had become swollen and immediately administered aggressive treatment, which was a success.
After two weeks, Melenda was able to wiggle a finger, and soon she could move all five fingers and slightly kick her leg. While she began to regain feeling on her left side; she realized that she had lost all strength on her right side, which was eventually treated with intensive rehabilitation. She continued her rehabilitation at home and was almost 100 percent by early November.
Melenda returned to work at MD Anderson Cancer Center in November and is now an inspiration to others.
“I love the attention I get from my doctors at St. Luke’s.”