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Media Memo: Local Neurosurgeon to Speak at UW-Eau Claire April 2

TO: News/Assignment Editors and Directors

FROM: Judy Berthiaume, Director

DATE: March 30, 2009

SUBJECT: Local Neurosurgeon to Speak at UW-Eau Claire April 2

A neurosurgeon from Sacred Heart Hospital who helped save the life of a UW-Eau Claire international student last year will speak at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 2, in Room 007 of Phillips Science Hall at UW-Eau Claire.

The presentation is hosted by the UW-Eau Claire Pre-Med Club and biology department but is open to anyone from the campus or greater Eau Claire communities. A reception will begin at 4 p.m. in the biology department conference room.

Dr. Kamal Thapar, director of the Brain & Spine Institute at Sacred Heart Hospital and Medical Director of Tertiary Care, was honored by the Chippewa Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross as a 2008 Real Hero for saving the life of a South Korean student who came to the United States to learn English. Haesung Won collapsed in her UW-Eau Claire residence hall room a day after arriving as a result of a blood clot in her brain. Dr. Thapar successfully completed a four-hour brain surgery to remove the clot and micro-surgically corrected the blood vessels in her brain. Following surgery, Haesung was on a ventilator and remained in a coma for 33 days.

Haesung’s parents immediately flew to Eau Claire from South Korea, and Dr. Thapar helped ensure that lodging and Korean translators were available to them. He also helped arrange for her mother to stay in her room with her, and offered a hospital laptop to assist with translation.

Dr. Thapar also raised consciousness in the community about the needs of the far-from-home international student.

The recipient of numerous national and international academic neurosurgical awards, Dr. Thapar directs a smart operating room, which is one of 17 of its kind in the world. During his presentation, he will talk about everything from the operating room, to the tools he uses, to how the tools help him perform his best every time he operates. He also will talk about various experiences he has had as a neurosurgeon.

For more information about Thursday's presentation, contact Pre-Med Club Vice President Aaron Wingad at 715-790-2333.

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