A surgeon in Alabama walks miles through a snowstorm to a save a dying patient. Unexpectedly arctic weather was no obstacle for this doctor.
Neurosurgeon Zenko Hrynkiw saves lives for a living. However, last week he needed more than his medical skills to keep a dying patient alive.
"There was a person in the emergency room at trinity with a massive bleed in the brain deteriorating," he recalled.
Dr. Hrynkiw was at the Brook Wood Medical Center wrapping up an early morning surgery when he got that call.
"I told Brook Wood that I had to leave and went to the parking lot. It was snowing. Snow doesn't really scare me that much, but when I got out of the doctor's parking lot up the hill, there was accidents to the right and accidents to the left"
It didn't take long for him to realize driving was not an option.
"I just walked down the hill and started walking towards Trinity"
It was about 20 degrees outside and the snow was piling up. One step at a time he trekked to reach the dying patient.
"Unfortunately, I had my slips on from the operating groom and my scrubs, so I was not really geared up for my adventure."
Along the way he stopped for a few minutes of warmth inside of a parked ambulance and then to help stranded strangers push their cars away from a ditch.
Dr. Hrynkiw continued the six mile hike up and down the hilly terrain.
"Lucky for me, a passerby, a sales rep actually, give me a lift the rest of the way," he said.
Nearly two hours passed before he finally reached Trinity Hospital, and within minutes. Dr. Hrynkiw was operating in the OR.
"The brain was literally exploding as I entered it. We had to amputate a part of it to get the clot out, touch and go for a long time just to control the bleeding."
Hrynkiw called it a miraculous event and the patient lived.
"He was dying. And if he hadn't had surgery. It wasn't going to happen."
Doctor Hrynkiw says, long-term, his patient may have speech and cognition deficits, but he expects the patient to live.