|Judge saved by daughter's determination|
|Monday, January 7, 2013|
By JENNIFER HORTON
Judge Bobby Capers of Mt. Juliet had a merry Christmas this year, and he owes it in large measure to his daughter.
That’s nice, you might think, but what makes this special?
Well, after a health scare that included a stroke and blood clots and doctors saying there was nothing else that could be done for him, Capers’ daughter, Dr. Christi Capers, Pharm.D., jumped on the Internet and found a procedure used in another state that can rid the body of clots, and in essence, saved her father’s life.
Capers, in an interview with The Wilson Post on Wednesday, said he suffered a subdural bleed (the bleed occurred between the dura, the outer covering of the brain, and the brain) before Halloween. Capers formerly served as Circuit Court Judge in the 15th Judicial District.
“The bleed was so big it caused him to have a stroke,” Christi said, noting the bleed occurred on the right side of her father’s brain which caused some left-side deficiencies. (He’s doing OK, now.)
He spent about two weeks in Summit Medical Center recovering from the stroke, but other health problems eventually developed. Capers said he spent the past three months in and out of different hospitals where doctors determined he had tumors and blood clots at various places in his body.
As his stays in the hospital continued, doctors essentially said there was nothing else they could do for him, but Capers said his daughter refused to accept that and began researching various treatments and procedures on the Internet to try and help her dad.
“He developed a clot in his right atrium (of the heart),” Christi said, noting “it’s very uncommon.”
Capers was in the hospital for the subdural bleed, she said, and suffered the stroke while in rehab. He was sent to the ER for what was at first believed to be a heart attack, but a friend of hers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center came and did an echocardiogram of his heart which revealed the clot in his right atrium.
Generally, open heart surgery would be the next step, but she said that was not an option at that point because of his condition.
Instead, she began searching the Internet and found three case reports where a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) was used to treat a pulmonary embolism, or a blockage in an artery in a lung. The blockage is often caused by a blood clot.
Christi informed her dad’s cardiologist about what she learned, and the procedure, which she described as a catheter with a vacuum-assist device was used on Capers which removed the clot, negating the need for open heart surgery.
“He was my dad,” she said, adding that initially “nobody could tell me how me big the clot was.”
“It’s been a really long road for him. He’s doing a lot better. That’s just what you do with your dad. He’s my dad.”
Christi noted that in her occupation she works with a number of doctors and does not fault those treating her dad for not knowing initially about the catheter procedure that was eventually used. She now works for an oncology company but has worked in the past at the VA Hospital and at the Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
“I work with physicians. They have so many things they have to do.”
Capers, 70, was in good health until his stroke and blood clot, only undergoing a total knee replacement previously, she said.
Capers said because of his daughter’s efforts, “I’m still alive today. I want people to appreciate what she did for her dad (and the) Christmas she gave her dad. I love her.”