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Brain-injured Giants fan moves from hospital to rehab facility

By Michael Martinez, CNN
updated 9:00 PM EDT, Tue October 11, 2011
San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow, 42, was beaten outside Dodger Stadium on March 31.
San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow, 42, was beaten outside Dodger Stadium on March 31.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Bryan Stow shows "tremendous improvement," a doctor says
  • His family isn't revealing where he has been transferred
  • Two men have been charged in the attack on him after a baseball game

Los Angeles (CNN) -- The San Francisco Giants fan who was beaten into a coma this year after a Los Angeles Dodgers game has improved enough that he was transferred from a hospital to a rehabilitation facility, San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center said Tuesday.

The hospital said that Bryan Stow, 42, a paramedic from Santa Cruz, California, has shown "tremendous improvement." He recently began talking for the first time in nearly six months.

Stow, who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, had at one point been in a coma as a result of a stadium parking lot beating March 31, allegedly by two Dodger fans, after a game between the Giants and the Dodgers. Two men have been charged in the attack.

The Stow family wasn't releasing the name of the rehabilitation facility Tuesday so that they and Stow could "settle in and begin working with the new care team," the San Francisco hospital said in a statement.

"Bryan has been an extremely challenging patient," said Dr. Geoff Manley, the chief of neurosurgery who led Stow's care team at the San Francisco hospital. "It has been a roller coaster, but he is young and strong and has made tremendous advances. To get this far, it was vital that he be at a place that specializes in acute care for brain-injured patients. Now it is equally important that he receive care from a place that specializes in rehabilitation for patients with brain injuries."

Stow's family issued a statement saying: "We feel immense relief today, knowing that Bryan is ready to start the next chapter of his story. Though we won't miss the hospital, we will miss the people at San Francisco General. Everyone there has been so wonderful and kind to us."

Stow was transferred to the San Francisco hospital from Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center on May 16, officials said.

The San Francisco hospital said Stow underwent a decompressive craniectomy in Los Angeles, a life-saving surgical procedure to remove a piece of the skull to relieve pressure caused by brain swelling resulting from the beating.

On August 10, Manley replaced the missing skull fragment with a custom prosthetic bone flap, and shortly afterward, a shunt was placed to drain fluid from Stow's brain to protect him from further harm, according to the San Francisco hospital.

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