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23-year-old woman survives massive brain bleed thanks to Saint Luke's surgeons

Sophie Hardin
Posted at 5:03 PM, Nov 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-25 22:11:23-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A local 23-year-old woman has a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Sophie Hardin suffered a severe brain bleed while at a Kansas City Royals game in August.

Thanks to the quick actions of Saint Luke's Hospital, she is alive today and doing well.

"I did not think that something like this would happen," Hardin said.

Hardin said she felt an intense pain in her head. Within minutes, she couldn't speak and her face dropped significantly. She was screaming in pain.

Hardin's mother, Melissa Hardin, knew the care her daughter needed was at Saint Luke's Marion Bloch Neuroscience Institute.

"I still to this day will sing the praises of them because they saved my child," Melissa Hardin said.

When Sophie Hardin was transported to Saint Luke's, doctors worried she wouldn't make it through the night.

A CT scan showed she needed immediate and emergent life support along with life-saving brain surgery.

Dr. Andrew Schlachter, medical director of the Marion Bloch Neurosciences ICU, said the bleed was caused by a tangling of arteries and veins called an arteriovenous malformation, which is a malformation from birth.

"We spent that night at the end of August preparing for a much, much, much worse outcome," Schlachter said.

However, thanks to the quick actions of two Saint Luke's surgeons, Hardin made it through the night and only continued to improve.

"It is truly nothing short of miraculous and worth celebrating," Schlachter said.

Hardin spent a month in recovery, had to re-learn how to walk and still has a ways to go.

Vision along with some words are still a challenge, but she's made strides. She is excited to be able to not only walk but dance and make TikTok videos.

Every new baby step is something big to celebrate, like recognizing a song on the radio.

"I was singing it, and I was like, 'Oh my gosh, I know this one.' And it was crazy," Hardin said.

Hardin has since been able to reunite with the medical workers who helped save her life.

Schlachter said during a time period of much sadness, Hardin's story is one that has touched the hearts of everyone in the neurosciences ICU.

"Watching her succeed just helps all of us believe that we too can overcome the last 24 months, that we can overcome the hardships that we have had," Schlachter said.

Hardin's looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with her family and knows she has the hardworking professionals at Saint Luke's to thank.

"They turned me into what I am now, and it is crazy what they were able to do for me, so I am incredibly happy with who they are and what they’ve done for me," Hardin said.