Nic Gligorovski with Lauren and their baby, Mason. Photo: Paul JeffersIn the patient handover meeting, he was listed as “unknown male”,a young man whose body had been ejected from a car in a high-speed accident.
On June 28, the man had been driving on the Calder Highway about 5am when he hit black ice and lost control of his car.It rolled, throwing him out the driver’s side window.
As he skidded along the freezing road, the impact shattered bones in his pelvis, chest and leg. The gravel scraped most of his forehead off.But those were the least of his problems.
When a postman discovered his body lyingon the road about 45 minutes later, his head was filling with blood.
A crack in his skull had torn an artery running through a groove in his cranium. It was causing blood to leak into the finite space between his brain and the bone encasing it. It’s a space that can only take so much pressure.
He was taken to Bendigo Hospital, where doctors decided he needed an urgent transfer to The Alfred hospital for surgery to drain the blood. But there was a problem.
When he got to Ambulance Victoria’s helicopter in Bendigo, it couldn’t take off.It was fogged in.
Paramedics would have to ferry him by road, but time was against them.
The man had been given a drug to shrink his brain for about 40 minutes to last the flight, but its effect was wearing off. The pupil in his right eye was dilating. His brain was getting squashed by the blood.
The road trip would take90 minutes. It was too long.
Realising the predicament, Mark Fitzgerald, The Alfred’s head of trauma, checked to see if an ambulance could race him and a neurosurgeon upthe highway to meet the man halfway.
There wasn’t one available, so Professor Fitzgerald decided to do something unusual. He jumped into his own car with Jordan Jones, a neurosurgeon available that morning, and they arranged to meet the ambulance in the car park of a McDonald’s near the Calder motorsport park. They took everything they needed to perform the surgery there.
“The paramedic was great. He had done everything required,” says Professor Fitzgerald. “He had the patient sitting up … he was well anaesthetised and he’d shaved the right side of his scalp.”
The pair jumped into the back of the ambulance and drilled two “burr” holes into the man’s head to drain more than 250millilitres of blood over about three minutes.
It worked. The man’s blood pressure returned to normal, allowing the paramedics to continue driving him to The Alfred for more thorough surgery to repair the tear and his other injuries.
Little did the team know that back at the accident site, emergency services workers were searching for a baby. The man’s car had been full of baby clothes, so they feared the worst.
As it turned out, the unknown male, Nic Gligorovski, was waiting for his partner, Lauren, to give birth to their first baby.
When he arrived atThe Alfred, Mr Gligorovski, 37, was in a precarious state. The surgery went well but he spent the next four weeks in a coma. It was unclear if he would survive and if he did, how functional his brain would be.
At one stage, his family were encouraged by a positive sign. When Lauren visited him in the intensive care unit after the accident, she put his hand on her belly. His heart rate changed.
To his family’s relief, Mr Gligorovski woke up from the coma, and to the astonishment of his carers, his brain was fine. Despite a punctured lung, a broken vertebra, cracked ribs and many pins and screws holding one of his legs together, he could think and talk just the way he used to.
“He’s made a remarkable recovery. It’s really quite impressive. He was going to die,” Professor Fitzgerald says.
Two months on, and after 13 operations, Mr Gligorovski is astounded by his luck. While he could not be with Lauren for the birth of their baby (he was in a rehabilitation ward) three weeks ago, he got to meet his son not long after he entered the world.
“I think I came back to be a dad,” he says. “No words can explain what that means to me.”
As he celebrates Father’s Day with his own dad and new son, Mr Gligorovski, a mechanic, is in awe of the public health system and its dedicated staff. He still can’t believe paramedics and doctors who did not know him worked so hard to keep him alive.
“Mark is a saint. We named our son Mason Marcus after him. .. He saved my life.”
If you want to support The Alfred Father’s Day Appeal, visitalfredfoundation.org419论坛or phone 1800 888 878.
– from The Age
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.