Enter Sandman: Woman Undergoes New Surgery to Solve Sleep Apnea Issues
The machine Nancy McBride uses to help her breathe is so loud that her husband would sometimes sleep on the sofa.
A grandmother who has been wrestling with sleep apnea for years has undergone a new procedure to help her get a better night's rest.
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Nancy McBride used to hook herself up to a contraption that enabled her to breathe at night, but the process was considerably less than ideal.
“It wakes me up all night long," she told Inside Edition. "The tubing everywhere falls out or I pull it out."
Her husband, Mike, said the machine is so loud that he is often forced to sleep on the sofa.
Unable to take it anymore, McBride recently visited a sleep clinic, where she was monitored through the night without being attached to all that bothersome equipment.
The results came as a shock.
“Apparently I stopped breathing 58 times an hour,” she said, adding that she was informed, “You’re at risk. You can die."
She was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea, which causes the tongue to slip into a position that causes a patient to snore and can block the airway as they sleep.
McBride decided to undergo a radical new procedure with Dr. Maurits Boon of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.
“People like Nancy are extremely desperate,” he told Inside Edition.
The procedure involves implanting a small device in the body that's similar to a pacemaker. It connects to two sensors that will monitor McBride's breathing while she sleeps.
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The device will actually sense when there's a breath and allow the battery part of the unit to send a very gentle electrical pulse from the nerve to the tongue, according to Dr. Boon. The tongue will actually move forward, so as the patient is breathing everything will move forward to allow the airflow to be unrestricted and unobstructed.
The procedure took four hours and McBride is now back at home. Before bed, she uses a remote control to activate the device so it kicks in as she falls asleep.
She is now waking up each morning very refreshed, calling the operation “a miracle.”
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