“Cypriot man in deep coma saved by Hadassah doctors,” by Judy Siegel-Itzkovich, The Jerusalem Post, October 9, 2003

A 22-year-old Cypriot, who was in a deep coma for two weeks after a motorcycle accident, was flown here and successfully treated at Hadassah-University Hospital in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem this week.

Although he was brought here by air ambulance, one of his doctors here said he thought the man would soon be able to return to Cyprus on a regular flight.

Giorgos Tryfonos was hurt on September 20 when riding a motorcycle without a helmet. He as admitted to Nicosia General Hospital with multiple organ trauma, including to his head. The family, which is not wealthy, called Hadassah and got their country’s Health Ministry to agree to provide $5,000 for the special flight and $20,000 for hospitalization.

Dr. Yigal Shoshan, a senior neurosurgeon at Hadassah, said this was the second case this year of a Cypriot being flown here in a deep coma and being brought back to consciousness by its doctors. Hadassah’s Dr. David Linton, an internal medicine specialist who is an expert in intensive care, arranged for the transfer. “The patient arrived on the eve of Yom Kippur, and although one would expect there would be few personnel around to deal with such a difficult case, he was put through a special MRI scan and diagnosed.

“There were massive emboli [blood clots] in his brain, but we were able to treat him with drug therapy and ventilation, and he did not need surgery,” said Shoshan on Wednesday. “Two days later, he was conscious and speaking to his parents – who flew over with him – in Greek.”

A Greek-speaking Hadassah staffer was able to communicate with the family. He will return home in a few days, probably in a regular passenger jet.

“The first case this year was Stelios Xenophontas, a 35-year-old Greek Cypriot who was also involved in a motorcycle accident,” recalls Shoshan. “He had been in a coma for a month before we were able to treat him.” Although Hadassah doctors sometimes travel to Cyprus and meet with local doctors, local hospitals there don’t have the advanced equipment that was needed to treat the two patients, Shoshan said.