Man revived from rare brain condition saved by love of his life

Thanks NYU Langone Neurosurgeon who saved him


Ivor Parker and Karen Plaza have been together for 20 years and treat each day as if it were Valentine’s Day.

Recently, Karen knew something was very wrong with her partner when suddenly Ivor could barely speak and couldn’t recognize her while otherwise seeming to be fully conscious and mobile.

Karen rushed Ivor to the Emergency Room at Long Island Community Hospital. What Dr. Donald Krieff, an NYU Langone neurosurgeon, discovered was something he had never seen in more the 25 years of being a surgeon – a bubble on the brain.

After undergoing a CAT scan and an MRI, Ivor was diagnosed with 6-7 centimeter air bubble near the left temporal lobe of his brain, a relatively rare condition known as

Ivor underwent emergency surgery, and when Dr. Krieff opened the covering to the brain, the bubble completely dissipated. When Ivor woke up in the recovery room he was fully able to speak.

“When I first saw the bubble on the scan, I thought, ‘This is crazy. It has to be something else,’ but that wasn’t the case,” says Dr. Krieff. He was able to fully repair Ivor’s skull after the bubble evaporated but still doesn’t know what caused it. Brain bubbles occur typically after scuba or being in a hyperbaric chamber, neither of which applied to Ivor.

The 74-year-old Long Island man was discharged from the hospital on Christmas day, just two days after surgery, and considers it a miracle.

“It was a life-changing experience. We can’t thank Dr. Krieff and the medical staff enough,” says Ivor, who doesn’t remember much about what happened prior to the surgery. But his significant other recalls every single moment. “The idea of him not knowing my name and not being with me was scary,” says Karen. “Life is precious and you have to embrace every moment.”

The couple first met at a Unitarian church in Stony Brook. She was a widow trying to recover from her loss, and he was recently divorced. They say they stopped exchanging candy and flowers on Valentine’s Day because they consider being together their biggest gift.


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