health mind and body

Aneurysm-felled student is saved at Hadassah


Hadassah Hospital doctors have saved the life of 22-year-old Kimberly Winkler, an industrial engineering student from Minnesota who suffered a massive brain aneurysm.

Winkler, a native of the Dominican Republic who was in Jerusalem with Birthright for the 50th anniversary of the city’s reunification, was staying at a Jerusalem hotel when she began feeling unwell and was taken by ambulance to Hadassah Ein Kerem. Following several brain operations, she has been discharged and will return home to Santo Domingo.

“Kimberly suffered from an intractable, massive hemorrhage that definitely endangered her life. An exploding aneurysm is very rare at such a young age, but it is a life-threatening stroke,” said Dr. Kim Rosenthal, director of the neurosurgery department’s intensive care unit and a senior neurosurgeon. “The treatment focuses on stopping the bleeding by cuffing, stent or bypass.”

Prof. Jose Cohen, a senior surgeon in the neurosurgery department, inserted steel stents into her brain in order to stop the bleeding. This is a sensitive task, as damage to the brain tissue must be avoided.

“Her CT scans were so bad that everyone was surprised that she was still alive,” said Cohen.

Ellen Hershkin, national president, Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, said that “every day, Hadassah’s brilliant team of doctors and nurses save lives around the world and around the corner. Hadassah Medical Center’s $30M state-of-the-art operating theatres offer world-class medical facilities for all Israelis and for visitors from around the world.”

Winkler underwent three operations in which blood was drained from her brain and coils inserted to close the aneurysm. Her condition gradually improved and she returned.

“I was shocked when I saw Kimberly — I was not sure she was the same girl who played volleyball and danced jazz,” said Kimberly’s mother, Miriam Winkler, who had flown in from Santa Domingo with Kimberly’s two sisters, states. “We can never thank Hadassah enough for giving us back our daughter. Faith and medicine are factors that work here in a perfect combination.”