“My dad actually sat down with me and we cried,” said 37-year-old Amy Harpster after receiving a diagnosis of Moyamoya disease, a rare disorder caused by blocked arteries at the base of the brain. A former secretary who went back to school to become a nurse, the Nescopeck resident experienced her first symptoms in the classroom. Numbness started in her tongue and then crept down her right arm. A frantic trip to Geisinger Wyoming Valley emergency department rendered a devastating diagnosis: she had suffered eight mini-strokes as a result of Moyamoya, which means “puff of smoke” in Japanese and describes the look of the tangled vessels. Faced with two major brain surgeries, Amy remains optimistic. “There’s no cure but I have my faith and a lot of support to beat this. And now Geisinger is working to save my life.” #GeisingerStories #GeisingerCaring
Amy Harpster