Sixty-six year-old Hal Miner was perfectly healthy until he took a fall at home.
His forehead and nose took the most of the blow, and the impact caused him to bleed profusely. When the bleeding resided, Hal decided that a doctor’s visit was not necessary.
One month later, Hal began to suffer from chronic headaches so painful that he was incapable of writing his own name. When his wife, Barbara, noticed Hal dragging his right foot, they made an appointment at Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center.
A CAT scan by Hal’s care team revealed the severity of his head trauma: Hal’s brain was inflamed and full of blood. Neurosurgeon Vikas Mehta, MD, sat down with Hal to explain the dire nature of the situation.
“Dr. Mehta said, ‘We have to do brain surgery tonight on both sides of the brain,” Barbara remembered. “‘If we don’t, he wouldn’t be alive by tomorrow.’”
Dr. Mehta performed two brain surgeries at once, going in from either side of Hal’s brain to drain the blood. Thanks to Hal’s Kaiser Permanente care team, the surgery was so successful that Hal didn’t require any kind of follow-up rehabilitation or therapies to heal from his head trauma or surgery.
“The damage was so great that it would have not been impossible for me to be unable to speak, feed myself, walk,” Hal said. “I think any neurosurgeon looking it that would be very impressed with the fact that I’m sitting here talking to you.”