Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 4


Instant
IN AN

If a health crisis turns life upside down, you'll want family,
friends and the best medical care you can find BY KELLY CASEY

attend," Courtney says. "She doesn't
call that evening, UVA vascular neuroFor Pam Barile, it
surgeon Kenneth Liu, MD, rushed to the remember the wedding."
Barile's stroke seemingly came out of
was a massive stroke hospital as soon as he saw Barile's brain
the blue, but the year before, the former
scan. He operated from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.
at age 52. For Lisa
longtime smoker noticed her blood pres"Pam had an unusually large brain
sure had started to go up. High blood
aneurysm,
which
literally
exploded,"
Black (see page 6), a
pressure is the leading cause of the type
Liu recalls. "The damage was so great
head-on car collision that nobody, including me, thought she of stroke Barile had (see next page). Her
shoulder also started hurting two days
at 41. Suddenly, every would make it."
before the stroke.
Beating the Odds
moment became a
Barile's sister, Rhonda, remembers
Sharing Her Experience
fight to survive.
Barile was never able to go back to her
a team doing all they could for her

Pam's Story

On Sept. 2, 2012, Pam Barile of
Lynchburg was enjoying Labor Day
weekend and looking forward to her
daughter's wedding, just four weeks
away. That evening, seemingly without warning, a blood vessel in her
brain ruptured.
Home alone, with her dog at her
side, the 52-year-old lay unconscious
for hours. The next morning, when she
didn't show up at work, friends sent
someone to check on her. Paramedics
found her covered with bruises (it was
determined later that they were from
her dog trying to wake her up). Barile
was rushed to the local hospital, where
a brain-imaging scan revealed a massive
aneurysm had ruptured, causing a hemorrhagic stroke (from a bleeding artery).
Her chances of survival, though slim,
were best at UVA Health System. On

4

W IN TER 2 0 1 6

family. "Everyone at UVA was unbelievable. Someone was always with Pam.
... Everyone was so kind and patient
and explained everything to us,"
Rhonda says.
All told, Barile stayed three weeks
in the UVA Nerancy Neuroscience
Intensive Care Unit, had nine surgeries,
and spent a year learning to speak and
walk again. "Dr. Liu and other doctors
were always positive but also honest
about the long road with hills and valleys
ahead," says Barile's daughter, Courtney.
While recovering, Barile moved in
with her parents, and later with her sister. Rhonda spent several hours every
day helping her sister relearn how
to write, read, eat, dress herself, do
laundry, use the phone and cook, and
remember her birthday. Her daughter's wedding was postponed for a
year. "But we had a small ceremony on
Oct. 6, 2012, outside UVA-HealthSouth
Rehabilitation Hospital so Mom could

longtime job as financial aid director at
Virginia Episcopal School. But there is a
silver lining. Last April, Barile, now 56,
was finally able to live on her own. Her
sister moved across the street and is her
regular driver. Barile walks a mile every
day at 3 p.m., and she can do her own
laundry and ironing. She has trouble
cooking but loves to go out to eat and
get her nails done. "She likes to stay in a
routine, because her short-term memory
still isn't the best," her daughter shares.
Barile volunteers at the acute care
unit at Virginia Baptist Hospital. She
makes hospital beds, walks patients to
therapy and shares her story of hope.
At a recent dinner, the hospital recognized Barile for her volunteer service.
Barile and her sister have also formed a
close bond. Rhonda never thought she
and her big sister would be so close and
that their family could survive such a
hardship. "It's a new normal," she says,
"but it's OK."



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - Contents
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 2
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 3
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 4
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 5
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 6
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 7
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 11
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 18
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 19
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 41
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 45
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 48
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 49
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 50
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 51
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 52
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - Cover3
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - Cover4
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