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Elena B Nursing Student Recovering from Series of Strokes- Elena's Story

You don’t really think that it’s going to be a stroke at 21.

When nursing student Elena Bonner began experiencing left sided weakness, she initially thought she may be experiencing symptoms of stress. As an active and healthy 21 year old, a serious medical condition was one of the furthest things on her mind.

“You don’t really think that it’s going to be a stroke at 21,” says Elena.

After a few doctors’ visits and an emergency room CT scan found bleeding around her brain stem, doctors recommended finding a surgeon that specialized in cavernomas, clusters of abnormal blood vessels. Following a national search and several strokes in a matter of weeks, Elena and her family turned to Anil Nanda, MD, MPH. Dr. Nanda specializes in skull base, vascular and spinal neurosurgery and arranged to perform Elena’s surgery at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital New Brunswick. By the time Elena arrived at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital New Brunswick, she had experienced three strokes.

Today, Elena is doing better than anyone could have ever imagined. She returned for her senior year of nursing school and has started jogging once again.

“I am grateful every day. Every day I wake up and one of the first things I say is ‘thank you.’ Thank you to all of the doctors, nurses and medical staff that took care of her because it meant so much. I am so deeply grateful for everything that they did.” – Darleen Bonner, Elena’s mom