Young patient saved by emergency thrombectomy at King's

28 November 2017 - The procedure reversed the patient’s paralysis instantly

Kirsty Mills and Dr Booth

Back in February this year, 31-year-old Kirsty Mills, an interior designer from Blackheath, collapsed while in the shower.

Her partner, Sandy Batchelor, found her after hearing the thud when she fell and called an ambulance.

Kirsty had paralysis to her left side, slurred speech and a drooping lip. She was rushed to King’s College Hospital where they performed a head scan straightaway. They discovered a blood clot in a large artery in her brain and she was diagnosed with a stroke, affecting a considerable part of her brain.

Kirsty received an emergency thrombectomy immediately. A thrombectomy involves inserting a catheter into a major blood vessel in the groin, which reaches up to the brain to remove the blood clot.

Once the clot was removed Kirsty felt normal immediately, and regained the movement in the left side of her body.

Kirsty said: “At first it felt like I was drunk, and then like I was having an out of body experience – I could hear everyone talking but it didn’t feel real. When the clot came free I felt better straight away physically, although I was a little bit tired and dizzy.

“I feel so lucky to have been treated by Dr Booth and his team at King’s. They acted so quickly to save my life, I really can’t thank them enough.”

Dr Thomas Booth, Consultant Interventional and Diagnostic Neuroradiologist at King’s, said: “Before this procedure, patients who suffered from this type of stroke would have undoubtedly been paralysed, or sometimes may have even died. Occasionally thrombectomy can result in the ‘Lazarus effect’ - if the clot is removed quickly enough all the symptoms of the stroke disappear immediately.

“I’m delighted that Kirsty has made such a good recovery – she is living proof of the effectiveness of this treatment.

“Recent evidence has shown that a thrombectomy performed within six hours of onset is much more likely to be beneficial than using clot busting drugs alone when large arteries are blocked. We urge our fellow healthcare professionals to be aware of this so patients can be brought to a centre such as ours as quickly as possible.”

King’s is one of eight specialist stroke centres across London.

Patients who come into King’s via the Emergency Department are assessed by the on-call Stroke Team, who ensure patients have a head scan and diagnosis within 30 minutes of arrival.

Once stroke is confirmed, patients are transferred to our Hyper Acute Stroke Unit for immediate treatment.

For further information please contact:
Molly Downing
Communications Officer
Extension: +44 (0)20 3299 3257

Notes to editors

1. King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is one of the UK’s largest and busiest teaching hospitals, training over 900 dentists, 750 doctors and 300 nurses every year. The Trust is recognized internationally for its work in liver disease and transplantation, neurosciences, cardiac, haemato-oncology, stroke and major trauma. On 1 October 2013, King’s took over the running of the Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley and Orpington Hospital, as well as some services at Beckenham Beacon and Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup. The new enlarged organisation has over 10,500 staff and provides over 1 million patient contacts a year. 9,000 babies are delivered by our hospitals each year, and over 750 patients come to our Emergency Departments every day. For more information, please visit the website. You can also support the work of King’s College Hospital at

2. King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering collaboration between King’s College London, and Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts.

King’s Health Partners is one of only six Department of Health-designated AHSCs in England and brings together an unrivalled range and depth of clinical and research expertise, spanning both physical and mental health. Our combined strengths will drive improvements in care for patients, allowing them to benefit from breakthroughs in medical science and receive leading edge treatment at the earliest possible opportunity.

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  • 25,000 students;
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... to advance health and wellbeing by integrating world-class research, care and teaching.

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