Phoenix hospital helps Norwegian man conquer golf ball-sized aneurysm

Apr 30, 2018, 4:04 AM | Updated: 2:17 pm
(KTAR News/Kathy Cline)...
(KTAR News/Kathy Cline)
(KTAR News/Kathy Cline)
LISTEN: Norwegian brain surgery Barrow

PHOENIX — A Norwegian man is enjoying life a lot more, after doctors with the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix helped him beat a golf ball-sized brain aneurysm.

Kristian Knudsen’s diagnosis came in 2006.

The 35-year-old married engineer and father of two young children had surgery in 2016 and 2017.

During the second surgery, the aneurysm ruptured and bled.

“My entire summer of 2017 was in hospitals,” he said softly. “I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t function.”

“Aneurysms are a deadly disease,” said Dr. Michael Lawton, Barrow’s CEO.

“If they rupture, the mortality rates are around 40 to 50 percent. If the patient survives that rupture, about a quarter of them overall still end up with some brain damage.”

Knudsen was told his condition was too risky for another surgery; his only options were a Japanese hospital or Barrow. He said his doctor knew of Barrow and recommended the facility.

The surgery was April 19. Before the month was over, Knudsen was planning his return to Norway.

“It’s been a lot quicker to recover from this surgery than the one in 2017,” he said. “It’s been nice … I’ve been getting my life back.”

“This was a tough fix,” Lawton said. “It was basically an aneurysm that had formed on one of the arteries underneath his frontal lobes.”

The surgery saved Knudsen’s life, and he won’t forget it. Neither will his wife, Stine.

“When he had a stroke last year, nothing’s the same,” she said Friday, choking up somewhat. “But he’s back … and he’s the good old Kristian.

“We are so thankful for Dr. Lawton and Barrow. We no longer have to live in fear of Kristian’s aneurysm rupturing and we can plan for a wonderful future together with our children.”

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Phoenix hospital helps Norwegian man conquer golf ball-sized aneurysm