A crash, a recovery, a brain aneurysm

 

Heath Munger
A helmet saved Heath Munger’s life, but years later he faced a new threat.
On July 3, 2008, Heath Munger was riding his motorcycle down Highway 99W in Newberg when a driver pulled out and slammed into him. He smashed into her windshield face-first, flipped into the air and hit the pavement.

A helmet saved his life, but the impact damaged his internal right carotid artery, causing massive bleeding in his brain and permanent blindness in his right eye. It also created a threat that would surface years later: Munger’s injured blood vessel had developed a deadly brain aneurysm.

 

“I thought, oh my God, I’ve got a ticking time bomb inside my head,” recalls the 41-year-old husband and father of three.

He was referred to Providence Brain and Spine Institute and neurosurgeon Vivek Deshmukh, M.D., who could offer a new device to repair this trauma-caused aneurysm with less risk than standard treatments. On Friday, April 6, 2012, Munger became one of the first patients in Oregon to receive the Pipeline Embolization Device, a specially designed metal stent only recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Because this was a minimally invasive procedure, Munger was discharged home two days later. He’s now back at work as a service rep for a crane manufacturer, and grateful to be over his ordeal.

“So far,” he says, “everything feels good.”

Related resources
The next-generation brain aneurysm repair - clinical story on Munger's new devise, by Dr. Deshmukh.