NEW YORK - Luis Pagan was wheeled out of South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore on Friday, a lucky and now, married man after making a miraculous recovery from a rare brain surgery.
Earlier this month, Pagan, an HVAC installer, suffered an epileptic seizure while working on a ladder in an attic. The 36-year-old opted for what’s known as an awake craniotomy to remove a tumor found by doctors.
The complex 3-hour procedure was the first of its kind performed at South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore.
"We keep the patient awake during the main part of the procedure and we use electric current to stimulate the brain and evaluate the patient clinically and get real-time feedback," said neurosurgeon Dr. Georgios Klironomos.
It all took place less than a week ago, including an impromptu wedding ceremony in the chapel of the hospital. Luis married his long-time partner and the love of his life, Nicole - their two children and close family were there for it all.
"We got married, I told him regardless I’m here," Nicole said. "I’m not going anywhere. I couldn’t have hoped for this. He’s the same. If not better."
And on Friday they celebrated with more cake and cider as the couple said cheers to health, happiness and a big thank you to those who helped save Luis’s life.
"They’re the heroes and angels in my mind," Luis said.
Doctors are waiting on the pathology report to determine if Luis needs radiation or chemo but the best news he’s neurologically intact and ready to live the rest of his life.
"It was the biggest wake-up call I’ve ever had in my life, to slow down, enjoy life and the people around you," Luis said. "Just live."