Stories of Hope

Stories of Hope
  • Blog Entry

    Robert Alexander Bodroghy, MD,  PGY-2 Neurology Resident, Temple University Lauren Koffman DO, MS Assistant Professor of Neurology, Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA The word summertime usually evokes thoughts of vacations, outdoor activities, and a more easy-going lifestyle, especially for college aged kids. June 5, 2011, put an unexpected end to the spoils of my summertime fun. I was nineteen years old and had just finished my first semester of undergraduate studies, with a major in athletic training. The last exam I took was ...

  • Scott DeBoer, MD, PHD Medstar Franklin Square Medical Center Department of Neurology, Georgetown School of Medicine Cari Tobin, PA-C Medstar Franklin Square Medical Center Lauren Koffman DO, MS In 1989 when Benjamin Peace was 29 years old, he had a dental infection that spread to two of his heart valves, known as endocarditis.  Unfortunately, the infection in his heart caused a stroke and left him unable to use the left side of his body.  He was told he had a 50/50 chance of being able to walk again. Treatment of the infection required ...

  • Bindi Parikh, MD, Neurology Resident, University of Minnesota Christine Yeager, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, University of Minnesota     Section Editor Lauren Koffman, DO, MS One Thursday, amidst the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Naema had been working from home as a student advisor and was carrying out her usual activities. Though she did not feel quite herself, she drove herself to take care of errands and later went outside for a run. She recalls, “I was feeling off, my appetite was off. I didn’t know at the time that ...

  • Kate Meurer Clinical Research Associate in Neurocritical Care and Vascular Neurology Yale School of Medicine, Yale New Haven Hospital Ilayda Top Clinical Research Associate in Neurocritical Care and Vascular Neurology Yale School of Medicine, Yale New Haven Hospital Dan Doherty Clinical Research Associate in Neurocritical Care and Vascular Neurology Yale School of Medicine, Yale New Haven Hospital Firas Kaddouh Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, Yale School of Medicine Her Last Ride for A While November 18, 2018: Chrissy ...

  • Blog Entry

    Stefanie P. Cappucci, MD Neurology Resident Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Corey R. Fehnel, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Neurology Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Harvard Medical School Section Editor: Michael Reznik, MD Assistant Professor of Neurology & Neurosurgery Brown University/Alpert Medical School       “A year ago, I was thrilled to survive…and looked forward to what the future would bring. I would have never imagined a year from that day I would be getting ready to go to ...

  • To most, Sunday, April 7, 2019, does not stir up strong emotions or even spark a distant memory. The most popular tweet of the day was “Keep your emotions off the internet” from NFL player JuJu Smith-Schuster; Old Town Road by Lil Nas X jumped 14 spots to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100; front page news introduced Candida auris to the public; and in just 24 hours, the Virginia Cavaliers would face the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the NCAA college basketball national championship game. But that day was a big one for Kertisha “Tisha” Brabson and her battle ...

  • There was a trail of blood around the house that led to the basement. He recalls pacing back and forth, trying to take care of a wound. He had blacked out at some point, but he remembers his dog vigorously licking him to get up and answer the door.   Christopher’s memory and speech still aren’t what they used to be, but they’ve been steadily getting better. He turned 21 years old in 2019, and the year has been one of recovery and rebirth. He continues to make constant progress, and he hopes that someday soon he may yet return to his electrician’s ...

  • Emily Grodinsky, MD (left), Edith Graham, MD Neurology Residents (center), David Walker, MD (center), Lauren Koffman, DO, MS Assistant Professor of Neurological Sciences (right) Aaron Smith is the kind of guy you want to be around. He is 20 years old, with maturity and wisdom beyond his years — forged from having lost his mother at a young age. As a result of his loss, he has grown closer to his father and other relatives, and has developed into someone who is “gentle, reserved, hardworking, loving, and hilarious” according to his niece, Tyler.  ...

  • By Jeb Rodgers, MD, Resident Physician, University of Missouri Department of Emergency Medicine (left);  Niraj Arora, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, University of Missouri Department of Neurology (center); and Section Editor Michael Reznik, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology & Neurosurgery, Brown University, Alpert Medical School/Rhode Island Hospital (right). Steve Maddox is a man with many titles—devoted father, loving husband, dedicated driveway basketball player, motorcycle-rider, lover of jokes and wisecracks, shop foreman at ...

  • By Hannah Breit, MD, Neurology Resident, Rush University Medical Center, and Lauren Koffman, DO, MS, Assistant Professor of Neurological Sciences, Rush University Medical Center; Section Editor: Michael Reznik, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology & Neurosurgery, Brown University, Alpert Medical School/Rhode Island Hospital April 20, 2018: It was a brisk and sunny day in Chicago. Danny and his wife Lexie woke up to the sounds of their three rambunctious children — a 7-year-old, a 2-year-old and an 8-month-old — and a house full of laughter and love. ...

  • Contributors: Lindsay Marchetti, RPA-C, Lead APP, NMICU 1 ; Kathryn Zelazny, RPA-C 1 ; Betty Rosabal, LMSW 1 ; Chris Zammit, MD, FACEP, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Medicine 1,2 1 University of Rochester Medical Center/Strong Memorial Hospital 2 University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry Section Editor: Michael Reznik, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology & Neurosurgery, Alpert Medical School, Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital Ayanna was a young woman on a mission, on her ...

  • Blog Entry

    By (from left to right) Simona Ferioli, MD; Brandon Foreman, MD; and Kelly Rath, ACNP, University of Cincinnati, Department of Neurocritical Care Section Editor : Michael Reznik, MD, Brown University, Alpert Medical School, Rhode Island Hospital It was the Christmas season, which for Mary and Mark meant a time for reflection and making plans. Mark would retire, they agreed, while Mary would continue working her job as an operations specialist at Delta. They would continue to travel and enjoy living the American dream. And why not? Mary had just ...

  • Contributor: Leighton Mohl, MD, Neurology Resident University of Minnesota (left); Contributor: Christopher Streib, MD, MS, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Program Director, Vascular Neurology Fellowship Stroke Director, University of Minnesota (center); Section Editor: Michael Reznik, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology & Neurosurgery, Alpert Medical School, Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital (right) After finishing work and returning home one day, Sten Anderson was on his way to the gym — “dreading working out, as most people do,” he recalls, ...

  • By Alexandra Reynolds, MD (left), and Michael Reznik, MD (right) In 2004, Caroline (name changed for privacy), a 19-year-old Bulgarian-American woman, was hit by a car while crossing the street in Manhattan, suffering a severe traumatic brain injury as a result. She had cerebral edema on presentation to the hospital, along with a large subdural hematoma, which required an emergent left hemicraniectomy and evacuation. Postoperatively she was kept intubated and sedated in Cornell’s Neuro ICU, and she proceeded to have a prolonged recovery. Despite her ...

  • Section Editor: Michael Reznik, MD Contributor: Aleksandra Yakhkind, MD, Neurology Resident Alpert Medical School, Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital It is late morning on New Year’s Day, and Kathi has just left her home to go to the local supermarket, where she works as a cashier. She had just spent the previous evening together with her family celebrating New Year’s, reminiscing about 2017 and looking forward to 2018. Kathi is 19, works two jobs and eventually hopes to go to nursing school — a big deal for her family, who are from Guatemala. ...

  • He stumbled into the ER, disheveled, in torn clothes, and smelling of excrement and urine. When the nurses pulled off his boots, much of the skin of his feet came off with them. He was homeless, although at one time he had held a law degree. He had fallen on hard times. He had been struck by a car as he huddled under a blanket near the grocery cart that was his home furnishing, under an overpass. He had an acute subdural hematoma, several fractured ribs, a displaced pelvis, a punctured lung, a lumbar vertebral fracture, a ruptured spleen and a bruised ...

  • Blog Entry

    By Alexis Steinberg, MD, Neurology Resident, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Editor: Michael Reznik, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology & Neurosurgery, Alpert Medical School, Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital Ann remembers walking into a hospital in Pittsburgh one day in February 2016, concerned because she had been experiencing unusual left arm and leg sensory changes for several hours. She was 47 years old at the time and had previously never experienced any major medical issues. She didn’t exactly know what to expect, especially ...

  • It happened so quickly that I don’t even remember how it happened or what happened. All that I know is the story of my survival, my family's resilience and our strong faith in our faithful God. I am learning more and more each day about my incredible journey.  It was one day around Christmas 2012. I had left work feeling lousy, like I was coming down with something. The next morning I had fever, back pain and a severe headache. My family took me to a local hospital. I was confused and disoriented. The initial tests showed that I might have an infection ...

  • I had always felt healthy and energetic, enjoying my life in every aspect. I was teaching my eighth grade English classes, attending graduate school part-time, reading for pleasure, going to yoga, petting my cat, and enjoying time with my family and friends. Around Christmastime in 2009, I started having headaches that kept getting worse over the course of 10 days. I visited my doctor, and an MRI of my brain was unremarkable shortly before the morning when I awoke in unbearable pain. I called my parents who lived close by. My father came to my house ...

  • Blog Entry

    By Dara Southerland Story contributor: Huy Tran, University of New Mexico Health Science Center On Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, 2014, I woke up feeling extremely weak and fatigued. I could barely move or get out of bed that morning. I'd had a lingering cold for some time. My breathing had become increasingly labored months earlier after receiving a flu shot around the end of October 2013. Within 10 days or so of receiving the shot, I felt fatigued and my breathing was growing more difficult. I didn't connect the shot with the breathing problems at ...

  • Blog Entry

    By Erin Calo, DaiWai Olson, and Brenna Kurtz The story of Erin Calo did not begin on July 22, 2012. However, after being thrown from a second floor balcony resulting in a severe traumatic brain injury, my life and the lives of my friends and family were changed forever. I spent the next 12 days in a coma at WakeMed in Raleigh, North Carolina, with no responses to commands, no responses to pain and no signs of life. No matter how grim the prognosis was, my nurses and doctors never gave up on me, my family never gave up on me and, most importantly, ...

  • By Tracey Brooks and Richard Brooks Jan. 21, 2010, was my 45th birthday. Richard, my husband, was returning from England later that night. so I went to dinner with family and friends. After dinner, I took the dogs out and went upstairs to wait until Richard came home. Everything was fine. In the morning, we were making breakfast and making plans to celebrate my birthday together over the weekend. I was making smoothies in the kitchen, and then I don't remember anything else. Richard had to tell me the story months after, but the story goes like this: ...

  • Blog Entry

    By Alex Baldwin I was a 21-year-old college student with one year left to graduate when an accident changed my life forever. On Oct. 21, 2008, I was struck by a motor vehicle resulting in a severe head trauma and multiple life threatening injuries including multiple skull fractures, blood accumulation between the skull and the brain (subdural hematomas), blood around the brain tissue (subarachnoid hemorrhages), and extensive brain tissue bruising (contusions) and swelling. My road to recovery was long, and I was admitted to the University of Massachusetts ...

  • By Jo Ann Soliven, The Medical City, Philippines It was my turn to personally test-run the Acute Stroke Response System through the Brain Attack Team, this time as the real patient. I was in a meeting with colleagues when I experienced sudden dizziness and, later, double vision. This was communicated to the Emergency Department of the hospital where I worked. On standby at the triage area of the ER were members of the Brain Attack Team. I got out of the car and laid myself on the stretcher. While I was being wheeled in, I asked the resident to ...

  • By Candace Gantt, Carter Gantt, Margot Wallace, and M. Sean Grady On a bright and glorious morning in July of 2005, I was cycling with my friend on Goshen Road in Chester Country, Pennsylvania. It was only two weeks after completing a grueling 70 mile, half-Ironman race in Lake Placid, New York. That morning, I was hit by a reckless construction truck pulling a trailer. At about 20 miles per hour, I bounced off the road, hit a telephone pole and then a stockade fence. I suffered a broken clavicle, several broken facial bones and a traumatic brain ...

  • Blog Entry

    He was 18, a senior in high school and a drummer in his high school band. His mom got the call in the middle of the night, a call that all moms of teenagers imagine in their deepest fears. The anticipation of the call keeps us awake, or haunts us in repeating nightmares; we cannot fathom how we will respond to that call. Or how, once it arrives, we will survive. “Your son is in the emergency room after a car accident. Can you come right away?” He was in a coma with a severe TBI (traumatic brain injury). As a mom, you listen intently as the doctors ...