Success Stories

Two-year-old Survives Emergency Brain Surgery

Dr. Scott Sanderson Performs Live Saving Brain Surgery

A playful morning turned into a harrowing afternoon when Nate fell unconscious and was rushed to the Danbury Hospital Emergency Department. The list of things scarier than a pandemic caused by an unknown virus is short. For Claire and Mark, on that list is their two-year-old son undergoing emergency surgery for a traumatic brain injury during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.


A Sudden Fall 

On May 9, 2020, COVID-19 cases were surging and Connecticut was in lockdown. Claire, Mark and their son Nate spent that Saturday morning drawing, playing music and watering plants. Around 11:30 a.m., they were in the basement exercising and playing around when Nate accidently bumped into Mark with such momentum he fell down and hit his head on the concrete floor. “We were totally surprised,” said Claire. “Nate cried at first and we calmed and soothed him. He stopped crying right away and said he felt better.” Claire and Mark thoroughly examined Nate who had a bump on his head but no signs of a serious head injury, such as bleeding, loss of consciousness, dizziness or vomiting. “He seemed fine. In fact, he said he was hungry so we went upstairs to get something to eat while we continued to monitor him,” said Claire.


Worrisome Signs

About one and a half hours later, Mark and Nate went to play the drums, a favorite activity and talent they share. That is when Nate started behaving unusually. “We have a playlist, but Nate wanted to play a song that was not on the list and not played on the drums anyway,” said Mark. “Nate cried because we could not play the song and then he asked to be carried to bed, even though it was not his normal naptime.” Claire stayed with Nate after putting him to bed. He dozed off but was noticeably uncomfortable, restless and sweating. Claire and Mark wrestled with what to do; as their concern about Nate grew, they also worried about going to the hospital because of COVID-19. Their concern escalated to alarm when Nate woke up, vomited, screamed and passed out. “Nate was unconscious, his breathing was labored and his body was getting limper and limper,” said Mark. “We called 9-1-1 and an ambulance quickly arrived.”

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What Our Patients Say About Our Doctors and Staff

Here are some excerpts from Thank You letters to our doctors:

I cannot adequately express the extent of my gratitude and respect for Dr. Batson and his team at Norwalk Hospital in this letter. The level of technical skill, dedication, and professionalism needed to perform a craniectomy is obviously a prerequisite for a successful operation and subsequent recovery. However, the feeling of trust, depth of confidence, and level of communication transmitted throughout my mother’s hospitalization was unparalleled.

Mark I.

Just a little something to express my gratitude for the amazing surgery that saved me from becoming a quadriplegic. God bless you.

Lynda Y.

This is a quick note to let you know how much we appreciate your operating on Steve. We are particularly grateful that you adjusted your schedule to operate on him. Steve is recovering well from surgery and is mentally doing much better now that he is getting relief from the constant pain previously experienced.

Debbie T.

Here is a small handmade token of my appreciation. I could nor work in clay one yar ago. the pain prevented me and I missed it terribly. I started out after my surgery on small pieces and have worked up to larger pieces. Most importantly, without your skill and knowledge, my pain-free life wouldn’t exist. I will be forever grateful for your patience and professionalism.

Jackie W.

The staff impressed me as being efficient, motivated, very responsive and truly caring. They are indeed the best medical office staff I have experienced during my 61 years. Your caring manner, especially your willingness to take the necessary time to examine me and explain test results, left nothing to be desired. I never felt that you or Shawn were rushing to just process me, a pleasant change from my other physicians. My comfort level was extremely high going into both surgeries last year.

Marc H.

Jackie and I want you to know how much we appreciate all you have done to give us back our health. God has given you special gifts. Please know we keep you in our prayers. Thank you again for your warm, personal, and professional care.

Reverend William L.

A few months ago I was watching News Channel 12 with my mother. She said, ‘Good Lord, that man’s too young to be a doctor!’ I looked up and saw my life-saving hero, you! You are worth breaking my neck for. In my 56 years on this earth, I have never had someone go so far out of their way for me. Thank you for not giving up on me.

Karen M.

Feel like telling you that I’m still alive and feeling well. Presently, I’m cancer-free. I will always remember you for the way you treated me and the compassion you showed my whole family, including my 5 grandkids. I am grateful every day.

Janet S.

Just a note to say thank you for saving my life. I’ll never forget being in the hospital and was told I had a subdural hematoma and had to have emergency brain surgery. Not knowing what it all meant and what was to follow was terrifying. Now I can look backward and say how grateful and appreciative I was to receive such excellent care for a fine, skilled doctor who is a nice person as well. I will never forget you.

Kathleen V.

My family and I have no less than a world of appreciation for you for giving John his life back. We appreciate all that every doctor, nurse, therapist, and friend has done for John but if it weren’t for you, we and they would have nothing to work with.

Paula F.

Dr. Batson, thank you for your work to advance the treatment of patients who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. I would be interested to hear any suggestions you may have for commanders in my situation who must care for newly wounded marines.

Colonel Pete P.

Thank you, thank you, and once again, thank you for what you did for Mr. Vincent J.

Morris J.

I just wanted to thank you again for taking such good care of my mother, Violet. She’s doing wonderfully. It’s nice to have her back again for Christmas.

Walter R.

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