SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) – Doctors said Wednesday that the medical condition of a San Francisco Giants fan who was severely beaten outside Dodgers Stadium is continuing to improve, and they’ve upgraded him from critical to serious.
Bryan Stow had been in critical condition since the March 31 attack after the season opener between the Giants and Dodgers.
San Francisco General Hospital’s head of neurosurgery, Dr. Geoff Manley, said Stow has been making progress and has been taken off another of his seizure medications.
“He looks better today than when I last spoke to you four weeks ago,” Manley told reporters.
The 42-year-old Santa Cruz paramedic was moved last month from Los Angeles to San Francisco General Hospital, which has a top trauma center, to be closer to home.
Stow is still unconscious but has been responding intermittently to commands to open and close his eyes, and has some spontaneous left arm movement. He is also now breathing with a tracheostomy collar instead of a ventilator, Manley said.
He is down to three anti-seizure medications—he was previously taking five—and the dosages of those have been reduced. He hasn’t had any seizures recently, Manley said.
Manley said the anti-seizure medications had been masking Stow’s true state, and that doctors at San Francisco General are now beginning to be able to assess his condition.
If his improvement continues, doctors will have to consider how to replace a piece of his skull that had been removed to allow his brain to swell after the beating.
Manley said it is difficult to predict how much, and at what pace, Stow will improve beyond his current state. He noted that patients who suffer brain injuries often make initial progress then plateau.
KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:
He said research on brain injury is limited, but that doctors know more now than they did a decade ago.
“With an injury like this, Bryan Stow would not have survived 10 years ago,” he said.
Stow’s family released a statement Wednesday morning saying, “We are grateful for the public’s continued concern and support. We are encouraged byBryan’s improvement and we ask for continued respect for his privacy, and ours, to focus on his health.”
Los Angeles police have arrested one of three suspects in the opening day attack. Giovanni Ramirez, 31, of Los Angeles, was arrested May 22 on suspicion of violating parole for a previous conviction unrelated to Stow’s beating. He has not been charged in the Stow beating case, and his attorneys claim photo evidence proves he was not involved in the attack. On Monda, Ramirez was ordered held for 10 months on parole violation.
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