One morning my husband, Bob, woke up, said, "I think I'll make a pot of coffee," went downstairs and had a stroke. The kind neurosurgeons like himself call "the bull's eye." His middle cerebral artery in the dominant hemisphere was hit. I called 9-1-1, held him and reassured him, and at the hospital the doctor told me his right side would probably remain paralyzed indefinitely, and he may never speak or write again. He was intubated, and another doctor told me that ight be permanent. When he fell, he injured himself and losy 20% of his blood. His pressure was derifting down (not good) and the doctors kept giving me little warnings. I called Genie Callan, who sent Father Cassidy, a priest at St. Dominick's, who has healing hands. He baptized my husband a Catholic and prayed for him. I stayed out of the room, even after the priest left, but I was not far away. About an hour later when the nurse came to take his vital signs, his blood pressure was rising. I came into the room, and he smiled at me.
Over a month later, he came home. The day before discharge, his team took him for a farewell lunch in the main cafeteria, and I was invited. He toasted them, saying, “You made it happen.” They all cried. Then they said what a genius and legend he was . He is, at least among neurosurgeons. He, his partner, Norm, and a plastic surgeon, Harry Buncke, established the first microsurgery lab in the country@ Davies (then called Franklin and part of the UCSF system). And they did the first reattach in the world, Bob sewing the nerves, Harry doing the soft tissue. Then he was still in training, Bob gave a paper at an International Neurosurgery conference in Munich, cryohypophysectomy for acromegaly. I remember making the two babies listen while he practiced his delivery. He also did pioneer work in hypothermia, especially for the pituitary. Most important, he was a caring doctor who gave his patients his heart as well as his hands. Though retired, he still helps people with good advice and referrals.
The fact that he survived this stroke, walks with a cane and talks is a testiment to his strength of character, and it's the profession’s way of saying thank you. He had the best doctors (several different specialists) and therapists giving him all they could. In one month, they turned him around enough that he has hope for a normal future.
I still dream about finding him that morning. Probably always will. For a long time, he remained very weak and on a highly restricted diet (no liquids, can’t use a straw, etc.) so we stayed home for another two months.. The hospital gave me 22 hours of training, and we had a nurse, physical therapist, and speech therapist for home visits. Now, six months later, we have a basically normal life. There are limitations, but we're happy. I just say thank you when I wake up every morning because I still have him.
Also for pituitary experiments with hypothermia
Intl conf munich late 60s when still in residency In 1972, he and a team at San Francisco's Franklin Hospital - later to be called Ralph K. Davies Medical Centerwell,.
Causes Ann Seymour Supports
Achievement Rewards for College Scientists, Marine Mammal Center, Sausalito, Lewa Conservancy, Kenya, UCSF stroke center, Academy of Sciences, san Francisco...