Your Healthy Family: Michigan man reunites with staff at Memoria - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Your Healthy Family: Michigan man reunites with staff at Memorial after recovery from aneurysm

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A Michigan man found himself in the right place at the right time when a massive aneurysm A Michigan man found himself in the right place at the right time when a massive aneurysm

Jessie Wilson was visiting Colorado Springs in December of 2016 when his life took a major turn.  He suffered a massive aneurysm that took him nearly 2 month of recovery to get to the point that he was well enough to travel home.

Dr. Shaye Moskowitz, a neurosurgeon at UCHealth Memorial in Colorado Springs oversaw his surgeries and recovery.  Dr. Moskowitz clearly remembers the condition Jessie was in when he met him. “Jessie was very very sick. As a testament to how sick he was, he doesn't remember any of it.  Basically it took him two months for his brain to turn back on in a way the he could have meaningful interaction with others.”

Dr Moskowitz says there were no warning signs Jessie missed.  Surviving this type of brain event comes down to getting the right kind of treatment and getting it quickly, and even then there are no guarantees.  

In Jessie’s case Dr. Moskowitz says, “The biggest thing for him was being at the right place at the right time to be available to be taken care of, in a facility that has the ability to offer critical care nursing, surgery, endovascular treatment, and catheter treatment.  (At UCHealth Memorial) We have the entire gamut to treat all of his needs, and handle all of them in one place, at one time, in a coordinated way.”

During Jessie’s initial recovery, half of his skull had been removed for the surgery to relieve the pressure of the blood that had built up in head, and to repair the blood vessel that had burst.  Rehab included learning how to function again, regain his coordination and eventually putting the skull flap back in place once the swelling had gone down, literally getting his head back into shape.

Dr. Moskowitz clearly remembers Jessie’s journey.  “He was here in the I.C.U. for just shy of a month.  He was in rehab for just short of a couple of weeks as well.  I met with him a couple times, for the surgery to take the bone flap off and clip the aneurysm, and then several weeks later to put the bone flap back to give him his round head again.”

Last week Jessie was back in Colorado Springs, walking, and talking and meeting many of the of staff at Memorial who cared for him.  Many of whom he felt like he was meeting for the first time. Jessie says, “Just to see the people that helped me through what I went through was great.  People I feel like I have never met, or ever seen. I do remember some of the nurses in I.C.U. just before I went to therapy. The therapy I had here was just great, they were so patient with me we.  We would go down and play cards, or video games and just to get my coordination back to my hands and things. They were all wonderful.”

For Dr. Moskowtiz and the nursing staff Jessie’s trip back serves as a reminder of the importance of the work they do day in and day out, that they don't always get the chance to see.   

Dr. Moskowitz, speaking for the entire staff says, “It gives you pause.  We see people at their worst and you wonder if we are doing the right thing to push the envelope and be so aggressive with our treatment.  We do it because there is really an opportunity to make a difference, it's the reason we do what we do.”

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