NJ college student survives brain injury

HOPEWELL, N.J. - December 4, 2012

20-year-old Khamal Brown is recovering beautifully after a life-threatening brain bleed.

The Princeton University sophomore was at football practice in October when his teammates noticed something was wrong.

"Honestly, I don't really remember much," Khamal told Action News. "I just remember feeling like I had a concussion or something like that. I was just confused."

The team doctor insisted the ambulance take Khamal to Capital Health Medical Center, Hopewell, which has the only neurologic emergency room in the country.

Doctors immediately diagnosed the problem and drilled a hole in Khamal's skull to drain the fluid. If that hadn't happened quickly, he could have died.

"As the pressure is building up in the brain from the blood," said neurosurgeon Dr. Mandy Binning, "brain cells are dying by the second because of too much pressure in the head."

Right now when someone has a stroke or brain condition, doctors often send patients to Philadelphia to get high-level care. Officials here say that's not necessary because top docs and high-level care are available closer to home.

"We're trying to provide world-class care right here," said Neurosurgery Department Chairman Dr. Erol Veznedaroglu, "so that we can treat time-sensitive diseases immediately and not delay patients who need emergency care by having to transport them out."

"I'm a pretty lucky guy, just thankful to be here," said Khamal.

He knows if he'd gone to a hospital without the high tech equipment and doctors experienced at diagnosing and treating brain injuries, he might not be here.

Instead he's planning to return to his studies, and maybe even the football team, next fall.

"Hopefully I graduate and I might go to law school or go into business," said Khamal.

And because all of that is still possible, Khamal thanks his doctors at Capital Health.

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