Pine Township, Pennsylvania (KDKA) — A local woman was in two different car crashes in a year, not realizing they were caused by seizures.
Laughter fills the Grguras house, but there were some scary moments getting here. It started with a car crash when Adrienne Grguras was pregnant with baby Theodorus and her teen daughter, Gabriella, was in the car.
“I felt like my car was accelerating on its own, like I was aware of what was happening, but I couldn’t control the car,” Adrienna said.
The car hit a tree, Adrienne broke her wrist and the car was totaled. Then she had a second, less serious car crash less than a year later.
After the second crash, a police officer asked her if she had a history of seizures. Adrienne and her husband decided she should see her family doctor about the crashes and numbness in her hands and wrist.
“She said, ‘I really think you just have carpal tunnel, and I think you have really bad luck with cars,’ which is funny because I’ve been driving for a long time and I’ve never been in an accident. So it was just strange,” Adrienne said.
The doctor referred her to a neurologist. But before her appointment, she had a grand mal seizure on Halloween night. Her daughter found her at the table.
“She heard, I guess, the bowl dropping, spoons, just heard a lot of noise out here and knew something was wrong,” Adrienne said.
At the hospital, doctors diagnosed her with a cavernous malformation on her brain.
“A cavernous malformation is a type of congenital vascular malformation which has a propensity to bleed,” said UPMC Neurosurgeon Dr. Raymond Sekula. “Probably in the order of 2 to 4 percent each year”
Dr. Sekula said that’s what was causing the seizures and the numbness in her hands. He operated on Adrienne on Nov. 3, but she had an unusual request. She wanted to leave that day so she could vote in the presidential election.
KDKA’s Kristine Sorensen: That must have been a first for a request?
Dr. Sekula: It was. She was really upset because she didn’t plan to have a seizure.
Adrienne says she owes Dr. Sekula a lot.
“I was really worried about my kids, my husband and not being there for them,” she said. “Dr. Sekula, obviously, he’s my guardian angel and I feel like he saved my life.”
Adrienne has a wonderful prognosis for a full recovery. She will soon be allowed to drive again once the doctors confirm that her seizure medication is working and she had no seizures over a six-month period.
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