By Vanessa Murdock
BROOKHAVEN, New York (WCBS) -- Life-saving surgery on Long Island returned a father to his family and a coach to the field just in time for a championship game.
Last Monday, assistant varsity football coach Kyle Moodt was prepping his Bellport High School squad for the Division II Suffolk County Championship on Saturday night.
Moodt said he felt confident his team would win against Lindenhurst, but added he wasn’t sure he’d be there to witness it happen. In July, Moodt started having crushing headaches isolated on one side.
“I just thought it was migraines. I would lay down at practice,” Moodt told CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock.
And, at home he felt his wife, Michelle, and three kids, 3-year-old Emma, 5-year-old Brody, and 7-year-old Kayla took on the burden of him not being capable of contributing as much.
“I’m not one for doctors,” Moodt said.
He said the head coach’s wife urged him to get checked out. Numerous rounds of tests and scans ultimately led him to Stony Brook Medicine.
“The headaches kind of look like migraines, but the one key thing was he was too old to start getting migraines,” Dr. Michael Guido said.
Dr. Guido and Dr. David Fiorella used high-tech scans to diagnose dural arteriovenous fistula, or DAVF.
“An abnormal connection between an artery and a vein that’s acquired later in life,” Guido said, describing Moodt’s issue. “If it ruptures, it would be disastrous, frequently fatal.”
On Tuesday, Moodt had surgery at Stony Brook University Hospital. What happened next was a miracle of modern medicine.
“I felt better hours later. Honestly, the pain I had for months was gone,” said Moodt, who is from Center Moriches.
The only proof of brain surgery Moodt showed was a tiny hole and bruising on his left wrist. Dr. Fiorella explained he used catheter-based neurosurgery, a minimally invasive procedure that starts at the radial artery in the wrist.
“Drive our catheters up under X-ray guidance into the blood vessels, the abnormal vessels that feed that malformation,” Fiorella said.
Then a glue-like substance gets injected to stop the abnormal flow in its tracks. Moodt said he went to the hospital on Tuesday at 6:30 a.m., was out of surgery by 8 a.m. The first thing he did was call his kids.
“I called them before they got on the bus. That was huge to me,” Moodt said.
He spent Friday night back on the field with his “second Family.” On Saturday, he helped his Clippers clinch a 13-0 win.
Just four days after life-saving brain surgery.
Moodt said hopes his story might help someone else experiencing headaches. Dr. Guido urges anyone experiencing a new one-sided headache, especially if you are in your 30s or older, to get checked out.