Department of Neurosurgery

News Stories

Jeff’s Journey: A Patient’s Recovery and Outreach

Neurosurgery Admin

 |  Tuesday Feb 3, 2015 | Share This Item

Jeff Damon was painting his living room when it happened. While perched high atop a six foot ladder, he lost his balance and fell.

I hit my head on the floor and fractured my skull, creating two bleeds on my brain, front and back. Additionally, I broke my back, tore my spleen and popped my left eardrum! Adding to the difficulty of my care, I’ve had mechanical heart valves for many years. I take blood thinners to reduce the risk of stroke...”

Jeff was rushed to University Hospital. Because of his extensive injuries and medical history, his case was complicated. He underwent a craniotomy and the doctors had to induce hypothermia. Dr. John Floyd performed Jeff’s cranial surgery while he was in the trauma center and attended to his lengthy follow-up care. Although Jeff spent two whole months recovering in the Neurocritical Care Unit, he has little to no recollection of his initial hospitalization.

“…I remember the days before the accident, but have lost any memories of the fall itself or the following six weeks. This loss of memory in many ways was a blessing. I was spared much of the pain and over time my body healed.”

When Jeff was finally discharged, he spoke to his family and learned how attentive his doctors and nurses had been during the course of his care. Drs. Augusto Parra, Rachel Garvin, and Ali Seifi took the time to update his family about his condition on a regular basis. They answered questions and explained procedures. Jeff was thankful his family had been treated with the same conscientiousness and compassion he received as a patient. After his experience, Jeff expressed that he had “developed the highest respect for the care provided by the medical staff”; he felt that they were sensitive to his needs and respectful of his dignity throughout the duration of his stay.

Convalescence during intensive care can sometimes be isolating and discouraging. That’s one of the reasons why Jeff has been trying so hard to reach out to others. In addition to giving us permission to share his story online, he has also visited with patients recovering in the eighth floor Neurocritical Care Unit of the University Hospital’s Sky Tower.

Jeff is thankful for the care he’s received and the progress he’s made, but understands that every patient has different challenges to overcome and different finishing lines to cross. His advice is to avoid comparing paces. Instead, trust in the guidance and outlook of your health care providers.

“It can be difficult and confusing, so I wanted to share my experience to let you know that there is help, and that you’re not alone…every patient is different. Some people with similar injuries can have very different outcomes. It’s important to remember that the doctors and nurses have experience with each type of injury and will do everything they can to help each patient recover as fully as possible.”

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Neurosurgery Holiday Celebration 2014

Neurosurgery Admin

 |  Friday Dec 19, 2014 | Share This Item

Neurosurgery Holiday Celebrartion 2014


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Born to be a surgeon

Neurosurgery Admin

 |  Monday Nov 10, 2014 | Share This Item

Leaders have a destiny to fulfill and visualize their future achievement. David F. Jimenez, MD, FACS, professor and chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery and physician with UT Medicine San Antonio, showed this ability at a very young age.

“For kindergarten graduation, the teachers told our parents to ask us what we wanted to be when we grew up, and whatever that was, to dress us up as that,” Dr. Jimenez says. “So my mom came to me, and I said I wanted to be a doctor. My mom borrowed my pediatrician’s stethoscope and, being a great seamstress, made an outfit that included a doctor’s white coat and a surgeon’s cap and mask. So I went to this graduation ceremony, and a doctor is who I was."

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Second Annual Skeet Shoot

Neurosurgery Admin

 |  Wednesday Oct 8, 2014 | Share This Item

The Department of Neurosurgery celebrated our second annual skeet shoot on Saturday, October 4th. We also hosted a reception welcoming our newest resident members: Drs. Clay Samples and Dewey Thoms. The tournament was a fun way for everyone to compete by showing off their shooting skills.

First place went to Dr. Byron Branch (who performed admirably). Second place went to Dr. David Jimenez (who would have won first place had Dr. Branch not shown up). Third place went to Dr. Bradley Dengler (who narrowly edged out his wife in a tie-breaking, sudden-death shoot off).

Congratulations to the winners and everyone else who participated this year, especially our new residents, Dr. Samples and Dr. Thoms. The next shoot is scheduled for October 2015. Dr. Michael McGinity will no doubt try to reclaim the throne from Dr. Branch. Good luck, Dr. McGinity!

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New Rehab Machine

Neurosurgery Admin

 |  Monday Oct 6, 2014 | Share This Item

Patient says new rehab machine saved him from paralysis!

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