But before David could begin radiosurgery, Dr. Vadivelu had to treat David’s volatile AVM as best as he could.
“I took away the blood vessels with the most risk in causing the AVM to re-rupture. With this thought, I could slow down the flow rate of the AVM enough so that it was safe for him to go on to our definitive radiosurgery treatment,” says Dr. Vadivelu, recalling the successful procedure.
With David’s AVM stabilized, Dr. Vadivelu and Luke Pater, MD, a radiation oncology specialist from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, performed stereotactic radiosurgery a month later. In May 2021, an angiogram showed the overall treatment was successful, and David’s AVM had gone away.
Released from Hospital, Long Road to Recovery Begins
David was released weeks after initial radiosurgery but still faced a long road to recovery. He couldn’t move, having lost mobility in the right side of his body, and his vision was severely compromised. Still, David worked hard each day during six months of OTPT.
“It was the most exhausting time of my life, by far,” says David. “I would go to bed exhausted, and I’d wake up exhausted.”
But he was committed to finishing high school. And despite the short and long-term effects of his stroke, David began attending the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing in August of 2018.
Four years later, he graduated. Excited for the future ahead, David also recognizes (along with his doctors and parents, Sara and Jim) that as a patient with a background of hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), there is a risk of other AVMs forming.