Family grateful for UT Medical Center, UT Health physicians

January 23, 2015 | Features, UTMC
By Amanda Benjamin



After 24-year-old Nicholas Kuns of Castalia, Ohio, suddenly collapsed two years ago, he was lucky to be taken to The University of Toledo Medical Center, said his parents Tammy and Brian Kuns.

Nicholas Kuns, center, posed for a photo with his parents, Brian and Tammy Kuns, and Dr. Azedine Medhkour.

Nicholas Kuns, center, posed for a photo with his parents, Brian and Tammy Kuns, and Dr. Azedine Medhkour.

On Dec. 6, 2013, Kuns arrived at UTMC’s emergency room in a comatose state. UT Health physicians did a CAT scan and found that there was a massive hemorrhage caused by an arteriovenous malformation on the right side of Kuns’ brain.

“Although he showed signs of impending death, I told our team that we are going to do the maximum we can to bring him back,” said Dr. Azedine Medhkour, UT associate professor of surgery and UT Health neurosurgeon.

“We were really lucky that he came to UTMC and that Dr. Medhkour was here,” Brian said.

Both Tammy and Brian said that they were extremely grateful that UT Health did not give up on their son.

To treat Kuns, UT Health used an interdisciplinary cerebro-vascular team that included neurosurgery, interventional neurovascular, stroke and neuroradiology. Kuns was taken to the hybrid operating room where the team simultaneously treated the clot and performed an intra-operative X-ray study (cerebral angiogram) to evaluate the arteriovenous malformation and the post-operative residual.

Despite the difficulties encountered during the surgery, the team was able to reduce the swelling in Kuns’ brain.

Thanks to his treatment by UT Health, Nicholas Kuns was able to graduate from Bowling Green State University.

Thanks to his treatment by UT Health, Nicholas Kuns was able to graduate from Bowling Green State University.

He remained in a coma for more than 15 days. Then one day he opened his eyes and progressively showed signs of improvement.

“It was the greatest joy to see that this young man, who is the age of my son, come back to life,” Medhkour said.

“It was a miracle,” Tammy said.

Tammy and Brian said that their son received excellent care at UTMC thanks to Medhkour and Dr. Mouhammed Jumaa, UT assistant professor of neurology, director of the Stroke Center and co-director of the stroke network.

Because of the UT Health team, Kuns not only survived, but also was able to graduate from Bowling Green State University in August with a bachelor’s degree in biology.

Kuns said that he is grateful to his family for staying in the hospital with him; his older brother, Nathan, stayed with him every night.

Kuns, who is in a wheelchair, does physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy five days a week.

Medhkour said that Kuns will make an excellent recovery and will be able to lead a normal life.

Kuns said that one of his hobbies is playing video games, including StarCraft II.

For more information about UT Health, visit uthealth.utoledo.edu.