A young man who was nearly beaten to death two months ago says the community’s support has carried him through. Raymond Widstrand, 26, was walking on Payne Avenue in St. Paul east side when he was brutally attacked by a group of people. He suffered protracted loss of brain function, and doctors weren’t sure if he was going to live. Widstrand’s now taking it day-by-day in the hospital, where he reads hundreds of comments from strangers on his CaringBridge site.
At the moment, 2-year-old Lydia Kohler is sailing through life. But her mother, Anna Kohler, says Lydia’s life was at a standstill last year. “[We thought]this could be the last time we, I don’t know, put her to bed – and that was really scary,” Kohler said. The blood in Lydia’s brain started flowing into a cavity, a pouch that ballooned in her head. Lydia’s condition stopped two young University of Minnesota doctors in their tracks: Dr. Bharathi Jagadeesan and Dr. Andrew Grande.
“Skull freezer” is certainly not a technical medical term, but most hospitals have one. The freezer helps to store bone flaps of the skull during the crucial waiting period between brain surgeries.
It doesn’t take a doctor to know that open brain surgery is as invasive a procedure as they come. Now, a Twin Cities hospital is taking the lead with a new procedure that helps patients avoid brain surgery all together.