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Alabama Brain Surgeon Walks Six Miles in Snow Storm to Perform Life-Saving Operation

The South was hit with unusual winter weather this week that virtually shut down cities like Atlanta, Charleston, and Birmingham and caused a string of problems for people all over. Motorists were left completely stranded on highways and were forced to either sit in their cars for hours on end or abandon their vehicles to walk miles home. For one Birmingham brain surgeon who was called from one hospital to another to perform a life saving surgery, sitting in his car or not going was not an option, so he decided to walk.

Dr. Zenko Hrynkiw was called to perform a life-saving brain operation on Tuesday morning at a different hospital, but when he left the hospital he was already at, he only made it a few blocks before he was completely stuck on the road with no movement in sight.

Nurses and officials at the other hospital tried to keep in contact with him through the morning because they desperately needed him to come in for the surgery, so while on the phone with the charge nurse, Dr. Hrynkiw decided he was left with no other option but to walk.

"The cell service was bad so we were fading in and out," said Steve Davis, charge nurse at the time. "At one point, I heard him say, 'I'm walking.'"

Davis says he called police to see if they could escort him to the hospital, but authorities didn’t have any luck locating him. After a few hours of walking the six miles to the other hospital, Dr. Hrynkiw eventually made it.

"He finally called me and said, 'Where's the patient? What's the status?'" said Davis. "He spoke to the family and went off to surgery."

Davis says that Dr. Hrynkiw is their only brain surgeon and without him, the patient probably wouldn’t be here today.

"Without the surgery, the patient would have most likely died," said Davis. "But he is doing well. This just speaks volumes to the dedication of the man. When I saw him, all I could say is 'You are a good man.'"


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