Sunday, November 21, 2010

Heads






All we know about 25-year-old Carlos Sosa (1st image) is that he was arrested in Miami in October for disorderly conduct and again earlier this month for soliciting a prostitute. Layton, Utah, resident Kyle Johnson (2nd image) was critically injured this summer when he fell from his longboard. "I was going about 25 to 30 miles an hour and lost control of the board....When I wrecked, I flipped over and landed square on the back of my head....I had hit my head so hard that it broke the skull in more than 10 places, which is extremely rare." He wears a helmet 99% of the time while skiing, skating, or cycling, but Kyle neglected to wear it this particular evening, and the result landed him in a coma for 3 weeks. Neurosurgeon Dr. Blake Welling removed large portions of the 25-year-old's skull - a procedure known as a craniectomy - to allow his damaged brain room to swell. The bone was frozen to preserve it, on the slim chance that he would need it back. Having defied the odds, he did. Steve Gater (3rd image) of Romford, Essex, England, had a similar slim chance of recovery after being brutally attacked by 2 teenage thugs in January 2009. The 26-year-old forklift operator plunged into a coma for 2 weeks, during which doctors were forced to remove the front half of his skull. Steve has now been outfitted with a new titanium plate to replace his forehead, but is left with brain damage, a seizure disorder, difficulty talking, memory loss, and changes to his once bubbly personality. "He’s just a different boy," says his mother. "His sparkle is totally gone." In May of this year, Robert Warren (4th image) received a traumatic brain injury in Afghanistan when his truck was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade. Surgeons at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, removed the left half of his cranium so that his brain would not be further damaged. He underwent 2 weeks of treatment and therapy in Virginia before going home to Arkansas, and then returned to Bethesda so that surgeons could reshape his head with a titanium mesh prosthetic implant. Texas teenager Houston Bradley (5th image) was not wearing a helmet this spring when he was skateboarding in a parking garage with friends. His head hit the concrete in a fall he does not remember. Houston's brain was bleeding and swelling upon arrival at the hospital and a neurosurgeon worked fast to reduce the pressure by removing part of the skull. The part of the brain that controls speech, personality, and impulses had been bruised, and Houston was unresponsive and at risk of seizure. "They are breathing, eating, pooping and everything else for him," wrote his mother on Facebook. After battling a staph infection and a bout with pneumonia, he embarked on 2 months of arduous rehabilitation. In July, surgeons reattached the large bone flap they had stored in a medical freezer, and in August the doctors expected him to return to school by the end of the month. In his mother's words, "I feel like we won the lottery....God works in amazing ways, and I can definitely see his handprints all over my son's head."

1 comment:

  1. As a downhill skateboarder/longboarder and a brain injury survivor (nothing to the level of these examples) I must encourage you all to wear a helmet with you bike or skate. You just never know.

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