Emergency Surgery at UAMS Saves Woman’s Legs

Dr. Moursi saves woman's legs Mohammad Moursi, M.D., chief of vascular surgery talks with vascular patient Ella Faye Scroggins, who underwent a procedure at UAMS that saved her legs.

Sept. 10, 2013 | When Ella Faye Scroggins was suddenly hit with an intense pain in her legs, she had no idea that her whole way of life was in jeopardy. A blood clot was keeping blood from flowing to her legs and the ability to ever walk again became a race against the clock.

Scroggins, 75, knew the pain wasn’t normal and was forced to call 911. She was first taken to White River Medical Center in Batesville where she waited for an ambulance to rush her to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).

“By the time that the ambulance came I couldn’t walk,” she said. “It was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced. Now I really realize how close I came to losing my legs.”

Arriving at UAMS, Scroggins saw Mohammed Moursi, M.D., chief of vascular surgery, and his team, who discovered she had experienced an arterial embolism that caused a sudden interruption in the blood flow to her legs.

“The patient carried a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation that sometimes results in a blood clot forming in your heart,” Moursi said. “This clot can become loose and travel down the aorta and occlude blood flow to the legs.” 

This is what happened to Scroggins, leaving the UAMS team very little time to save her legs.  

“When she got to UAMS, she had nearly no blood flow to her legs and was in danger,” Moursi said. 

Moursi and his team used a catheter through the groin to remove the clot and restore blood flow.

“Without this procedure, she would have lost her legs because she would have had very little options,” Moursi said. “Now, she is back to normal.”

Scroggins credits the quick-thinking team at UAMS for her quick return to a normal way of life.

“Because of UAMS’ quick response, I am doing well,” she said.

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