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Stroke of Genius

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Published Nov 8, 2007 2:16 PM


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What's a miracle? How does it happen? How would it change you? Find out Nov. 14 during a special screening and discussion of "Stroke of Genius," the documentary about one man's miraculous recovery from a massive stroke — and the UCLA surgeon who saved him.

In June 2003, Los Angeles advertising writer Dan Mountain was felled by a massive stroke. By the time he arrived at UCLA's emergency room, all signs pointed to massive brain damage. The hemorrhage Mountain had suffered "was so severe that I didn't think he would survive," recalls UCLA neurosurgeon John Frazee. But Mountain’s wife, Dorothy, asked that could anything possibly be done — let it be done — and Frazee agreed to perform surgery.

Using computer-guided imagery and a surgical tool he designed called an endoscope, Frazee was able to directly view the area being operated on while performing the surgery. Little by little, Frazee was able to remove the goose egg-size hematoma through a dime-size opening in the skull.

But Mountain's travails weren't over. Following the operation, he slipped into a coma for 21 days. His family reluctantly decided to remove life support — and shortly after, he regained consciousness. A month later he was well enough to leave the hospital.

Mountain's amazing story is the subject of "Stroke of Genius," title of both a music CD and a documentary produced by Mountain's longtime friend, musician Marc Black. On Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m., the film will be screened at UCLA's James Melnitz Theater. Directed by Bahram Soltani, the film won a silver medal for excellence at the Park City Film Music Festival 2007 and has been lauded by the National Stroke Association as an inspirational story for stroke patients and their families.

Mountain, Frazee, Soltani, and Black will be on hand at the screening for a presentation and question-and-answer session. The event will include a live concert featuring music from the CD, which Black and Mountain composed from poems Mountain wrote during the early months of his recovery.

Admission is $25. For more information, call(914)232-5548 or visit marcblack.com.

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