Local electrician praises NMC for swift care, surgery that saved him after life-threatening Traumatic Brain Injury

Jul 20, 2023

(Nacogdoches, TX) – Doctors at Nacogdoches Medical Center want to remind the community that Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) isn’t something that only happens to soldiers on the battlefield. In Texas, every four minutes, someone suffers a TBI. More than 479,000 Texans are living with disabilities caused by TBI. This summer, as more people spend time outdoors, experts say that males are nearly two times more likely to be hospitalized and three times more likely to die from a TBI than females (Source: U.S. CDC). But with treatment and care for TBI available at Nacogdoches Medical Center (NMC), there is hope for a safe and swift recovery from TBI.

Robert Gross, a Nacogdoches resident and electrician, said he’s thankful to be alive and with no disabilities after a tree branch landed on his head and nearly killed him. “Thanks to the quick actions of doctors and surgeons at Nacogdoches Medical Center, I was be able to celebrate my 53th birthday on June 25 with my wife and family,” Gross said. 

Gross said on the day he was injured, he was helping co-workers trim and move tree branches when a 15-foot branch came loose and sideswiped his head. Gross said he was knocked out and when he awoke, he had a headache but was able to talk, walk and thought he was fine. Thankfully, his co-workers called an ambulance to take him to NMC to be evaluated. The medical staff at NMC insisted he have a CT scan. At that moment, Gross went from seeming relatively normal to having seizures. There was no time to airlift Gross to a Level I trauma facility. Thankfully, the medical teams at NMC, acted quickly and got Gross into surgery immediately. During surgery, they removed a section of his skull in a single piece on his head to reveal his brain and repair the hematoma. They ensured his brain was not bleeding and then replaced the bone and closed the scalp. Gross spent four days in the ICU before he was discharged. After only four weeks recovering at home, Gross was able to return to his job as an electrician.

“I am very blessed that Nacogdoches Medical Center is here and especially when I needed their medical teams the most,” Gross said. “I want to let others know that they should be careful. If you suffer a head injury, go get checked out right away even if you think you feel ok., you may not be ok. But there is help with the skilled surgeons right here in Nacogdoches,” he said. “I’m alive and I’m blessed not be disabled by my injury, thanks to Nacogdoches Medical Center,” Gross said.

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a blow, bump or jolt to the head, the head suddenly and violently hitting an object or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue. Symptoms of a TBI can include the following:

  • Loss of or decreased consciousness
  • Loss of memory for events before or after the event (amnesia)
  • Focal neurological deficits such as muscle weakness, loss of vision, change in speech
  • Alteration in mental state such as disorientation, slow thinking or difficulty concentrating
  • Symptoms of a TBI can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of damage to the brain.
  • Mild cases may result in a brief change in mental state or consciousness.
  • Severe cases may result in extended periods of unconsciousness, coma, or even death.

For more information about neurological care at Nacogdoches Medical Center, visit https://www.nacmedicalcenter.com/services/neuroscience

Robert Gross is pictured with his wife, Sandra, after recovering from surgery for a Traumatic Brain Injury. He and Sandra will celebrate their 32nd wedding anniversary this year.
Robert Gross recovering at NMC after TBI
Robert Gross is pictured recuperating at Nacogdoches Medical Center after surgery there that he says saved him after he suffered a life-threatening Traumatic Brain Injury.

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