SPRINGFIELD, MO (02/08/18) - In Greene County 28.3 percent of people have died of cardiovascular disease or stroke in the last year. For one Evangle professor she survived a heart attack and two strokes. She was brave enough to relive her story and talk to Fox 5 about a new life changing procedure that saved her life.

“It was September of 2016 and we had gone hiking down Pomme de Terre and I knew something wasn’t right," says Nancy Pace-Miller. "So I told my husband you better take me to the emergency room.”

Nancy was having a heart attack. And doctors rushed her into open heart surgery.

“My heart was pumping really strong. But we didn’t know that the right carotid was clogged," explains Pace-Miller. "And the clogged artery than sent debris into my brain and I stroked.”

But that wouldn’t be the only time she would have a stroke. While in surgery, due to the original stroke, it happened again. But once things slowed down she says a blessing walked into the room.

"About that time this doctor comes walking in," she says. "He was a new doctor and his name is Dr. Christopher Stout. And he says, ‘I have a surgery that is perfect for you and I can keep you from stroking.’”

“We did a TCAR (Transcarotid Artery Revascularization) procedure on her. Had a perfect outcome through a small one inch incision with her awake," says Stout. "TCAR is a way to fix a carotid artery and get similar results to surgery.”

The procedure was approved by the FDA and CDC in July of 2016. Two months prior to Nancy’s episode. Having her say, “I will always believe that this procedure and this man, Dr. Stout, came to Springfield, MO for me.”

Fortunately, for us, Dr. Stout says Springfield is one of only two Mercy hospitals in Missouri to offer the TCAR procedure. To see how the procedure is done click here.