Casey’s Story: Solving a Mystery

The NEUROne program at UVMC helped identify Casey Wente’s unexplained symptoms. 

Casey's StoryTroy resident Casey Wente was baffled when she began experiencing vision problems, along with fatigue and numbness – and she wasn’t the only one puzzled by what was going on medically. 

Casey’s fatigue was so extensive she would have to lie down following a shower and stop to rest while driving. She also had numbness in various parts of her body. An optometrist tested her twice and assured her the vision problems she was experiencing (a light flashing followed by blocked vision in part of the eye) were not based in her eyes. 

“The optometrist said my eyes were 100 percent healthy, it was my brain that couldn’t see,” Casey says.

Looking For Answers

With the optometrist’s report in hand, Casey, 35, and her husband were sent to Upper Valley Medical Center (UVMC) where they connected with the hospital team and the NEUROne (pronounced neuro-one) program.

NEUROne uses telemedicine – a secure audio and visual link – to provide patients with neurological conditions non-emergent access to a neurologist remotely at their local hospital. Patients are linked with a neurologist who works with a neurology-trained advanced practice provider at the bedside to care for them in the hospital. NEUROne was introduced in October 2018 at UVMC, Miami Valley Hospital North, and Miami Valley Hospital South.

“Building upon the success of the Premier Health TeleStroke Network, this program was created to allow patients to receive neurological care in their local hospital, in their community, and near their families. Through this technology and highly trained advanced practice providers, we can bring a Clinical Neuroscience Institute neurologist and the level of general neurology care available at Miami Valley Hospital to the smaller facilities in our network,” says Michelle Post, Premier Health’s telehealth program manager for neurology. “We are also able to seamlessly transition these patients into our outpatient neurology clinics located all throughout the region to continue their care after they leave the hospital,” she says.

Casey underwent testing and monitoring at UVMC. She interacted daily with an advanced practice provider at her bedside and neurologist Eleina Mikhaylov, MD, with Clinical Neuroscience Institute, over a secure internet audio and visual link.

Personalized Care

“She (the advanced practice provider) rolled the doctor to the end of the bed,” Casey says. For Casey, the set up seemed natural. “It really was no different than having a doctor in the room. It is a great alternative. The doctor was really great. She didn’t make it feel weird to be on the (video) call.”

The video connection was “a great way to get an expert, more in-depth visit with your doctor,” Casey says. Because Dr. Mikhaylov was in her office during the call, resources were at her fingertips. “She could turn and look at her computer instead of needing to check on a question and getting back,” Casey adds.

Dr. Mikhaylov says Casey “seemed concerned, very frustrated” when they first talked because some of her concerns had not been taken seriously before the optometrist sent her to UVMC. Casey underwent a neurological evaluation and aggressive testing, including an MRI. That led to the discovery of a lesion in the right frontal lobe of her brain, Dr. Mikhaylov says. The lesion led to the vision issues, and the treatment for the lesion was intravenous steroids. Casey was referred to an ophthalmologist and a specialist in multiple sclerosis at Premier Health for further testing of her other health concerns. She continues to work with a neurology team to determine what is causing her symptoms. 

Dr. Mikhaylov says Casey was an excellent candidate for the NEUROne program, which has been well received by patients of all ages. “Everybody is very receptive, welcoming to the program and to our service,” she says. 

Casey is grateful for the care she received through NEUROne. “I loved the unique approach the NEUROne team brought to the table. I truly felt like a team was focused on me instead of just another patient to visit on rounds. It felt like individual attention, that I was being listened to,” she says.

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