Miles of Gratitude

Brendan Gavaghan returned home after enjoying the 2017 Patriots Super Bowl parade. As he walked up the stairs to his apartment, he stumbled and fell backward, hitting his head on the tile floor. Hearing the sound, his father rushed over from the other side of the family’s duplex, finding his son unconscious and bleeding. Brendan needed help, and fast.

Brendan was rushed to BMC where it was discovered he had a subdural hematoma, a life-threatening condition in which blood amasses outside of the brain creating pressure. Within 30 minutes of arrival, Brendan was ushered into an emergency craniotomy to remove a piece of the skull, releasing the pressure from his brain. Doctors were racing to save Brendan.

Brendan Gavaghan (left) with his mother Susan and niece Molly

While the surgery was underway, Brendan’s parents and two sisters anxiously waited for any news on his condition. Hours later, neurosurgeon Keith Davies, MB, BCh, returned and said, “‘I’m optimistically hopeful,’” recalls Brendan’s mother, Susan. “We held onto that.”

Brendan was transferred to BMC’s surgical intensive care unit (SICU) for constant monitoring. With Brendan in a coma and a ventilator helping him breathe, the family didn’t want to leave his side. But BMC’s nursing staff brought comfort. “One of Brendan’s nurses told us ‘You need to go home and rest. We’re here,’” says Susan. “We felt so safe that he was in good hands.”

Brendan began to improve. Within two weeks, he was off the ventilator and responding to verbal cues, and was transferred to a rehabilitation hospital. He returned to BMC for surgery to replace the portion of his skull that had been removed. After a successful procedure, Brendan was ready for the final stretch of his recovery, which required prioritizing his health. Beginning with walking, then running, Brendan went on to lose more than 100 pounds.

This April, Brendan will take his running journey to a new level as he takes on the Boston Marathon with Team BMC. Along with his teammates, Brendan is training and fundraising in support of the expert care and unique supports that BMC offers patients.

“How do you repay someone for saving your life?” says Brendan. “The marathon and fundraising are my way of giving back to a place that brought me back.”

Click here to learn more about how to join Team BMC.