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Alberta woman beats death after groundbreaking procedure removes COVID-19 blood clot

New device used for what’s believed to have been the first time in Canada
Brenda Crowell, left, and Dr. Jason Wong, display a CAT12 device, which Wong used to save Crowell’s life after she developed a deadly blood clot caused by COVID-19, in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Alberta Health Services says a woman considered dead for 30 minutes was brought back to life by Calgary physicians using a new device for what’s believed to have been the first time in Canada.

Brenda Crowell of Calgary contracted COVID-19 earlier this year and developed a pulmonary embolism in May.

Dr. Jason Wong with the Foothills Medical Centre says his team received approval to use the device — the Indigo Lightning CAT12 — to extract the blood clot from Crowell’s lungs.

The CAT12 is a tube the size of a large drinking straw and allows medical experts to remove larger blood clots than previously able with a minimally invasive procedure.

Crowell says it’s a miracle to be alive after spending almost a month in hospital, including eight days in a medically induced coma.

She hopes her experience encourages others to get vaccinated, as it did for herself and her family.

“People say there aren’t miracles anymore, but there are because I don’t think I’d be here if it wasn’t for the touch of God,” says Crowell.

“I can’t believe what happened to me and how sick I was, how close to death I was.”

—The Canadian Press

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