Brain surgeon walked six miles during snowstorm for emergency op - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Brain surgeon walked six miles during snowstorm for emergency operation

Posted:

Courtesy NBC News

By Becky Bratu, Staff Writer, NBC News

Not a snowstorm, a traffic jam or a daunting six-mile walk through fresh powder could stop an Alabama neurosurgeon from getting to the hospital where he was needed for emergency surgery.

Dr. Zenko Hrynkiw had to travel from Birmingham's Brookwood Medical Center to Trinity Medical Center to perform the operation Tuesday, but a sudden snowstorm had snarled all traffic, with thousands of drivers getting stranded for hours. 

Authorities in Alabama had declared a state of emergency only for the southern half of the state, leaving out hard-hit Birmingham and sending available equipment the other way.

Getting to the hospital by car would've been nearly impossible.

Instead, the neurosurgeon decided to make the trek by foot. 

"It really wasn't that big of a deal," Hrynkiw said Thursday. "I walk a lot, so it wasn't that big of a deal."

He said he left Brookwood  around 10:45 a.m. ET — and by 12:45 p.m. he was already operating on the patient.

And the good doctor said he was even able to receive the patient's CT scan via text message while walking toward the hospital. 

The emergency surgery was for a traumatic brain injury and Hrynkiw is Trinity's only brain surgeon, according to The Associated Press.

"He had a 90 percent chance of death," Hrynkiw said. "If he didn't have surgery, he'd be dead. It's not going to happen on my shift," he added.

"Without the surgery, the patient would have most likely died," Steve Davis, charge nurse in the neuro-intensive care unit at Trinity, told the AP. "But he is doing well."

Google Maps estimates the distance Hrynkiw walked at around six miles.

"This just speaks volumes to the dedication of the man," Davis said. "When I saw him, all I could say is ‘you are a good man.'"

Read on NBC News

  • BBQ Benefit for 6-Year-Old Boy Killed

    BBQ Benefit for 6-Year-Old Boy Killed

    Saturday, August 30 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-08-30 22:00:16 GMT
    A local car club called 361 along with friends and family are holding a benefit for the 6-year-old boy that was killed earlier this week.According to police the boy's stepfather 27-year-old Albert Villarreal struck young Xadrian Martinez after he soiled his clothing reportedly, Villarreal then grabbed the boy by the neck until he was unconscious and then slammed him into a refrigerator to try to revive him. EMS crews had been called out after the boy reportedly began having seizures. They rus...More >>
    A local car club called 361 along with friends and family are holding a benefit for the 6-year-old boy that was killed earlier this week.According to police the boy's stepfather 27-year-old Albert Villarreal struck young Xadrian Martinez after he soiled his clothing reportedly, Villarreal then grabbed the boy by the neck until he was unconscious and then slammed him into a refrigerator to try to revive him. EMS crews had been called out after the boy reportedly began having seizures. They rus...More >>
  • Former Presidents Clinton and Bush to launch new initiative

    Former Presidents Clinton and Bush to launch new initiative

    Saturday, August 30 2014 5:00 PM EDT2014-08-30 21:00:09 GMT
    (CNN) -- Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are going to join forces for a new initiative aimed at helping to give leaders better skills to solve problems.The presidents will appear together at an event in Washington on Sept. 8th to launch the Presidential Scholars Program.Organizers are billing this as a first of its kind partnership because not only will this involve the foundations run by Clinton and Bush but also will include the George Herbert Walker Bush and Lyndon Baines...More >>
    (CNN) -- Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are going to join forces for a new initiative aimed at helping to give leaders better skills to solve problems.The presidents will appear together at an event in Washington on Sept. 8th to launch the Presidential Scholars Program.Organizers are billing this as a first of its kind partnership because not only will this involve the foundations run by Clinton and Bush but also will include the George Herbert Walker Bush and Lyndon Baines...More >>
  • Tropics Update

    Tropics Update

    Saturday, August 30 2014 4:00 PM EDT2014-08-30 20:00:11 GMT
    Closely watching the progression of a tropical wave in the Caribbean Sea, east of the Yucatan Peninsula this morning. This wave will track over the Yucatan through the weekend, where interaction with land will inhibit strengthening/development. By Monday, the tropical wave will be over the warm Bay of Campeche waters. At that time, strengthening and more organization of this system looks likely. I highlighted the 'development zone' in orange and coordinated it with the probable path this syst...More >>
    Closely watching the progression of a tropical wave in the Caribbean Sea, east of the Yucatan Peninsula this morning. This wave will track over the Yucatan through the weekend, where interaction with land will inhibit strengthening/development. By Monday, the tropical wave will be over the warm Bay of Campeche waters. At that time, strengthening and more organization of this system looks likely. I highlighted the 'development zone' in orange and coordinated it with the probable path this syst...More >>