GREAT NECK, NY -- Traumatic brain injury and memory loss were the reasons dozens of wedding photos were plastered to the walls of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) earlier this summer. That’s the place where newlyweds Tunicia and Raleigh Hall faced the most challenging moment of their brief marriage – a bleed in Mrs. Hall’s brain and troubling memory loss – that caused Mrs. Hall to be unable to recall her recent marriage.
Today, thanks to Mrs. Hall’s physician and the power of photography, the happy couple not only celebrated their three month wedding anniversary in a ceremony North Shore University Hospital, but Mrs. Hall was also able to remember her wedding day – something that was far from a certainty a short time ago.
One-month after their picture-perfect June wedding, Mrs. Hall complained of the worst headache of her life. Rushed by ambulance to Forest Hills Hospital, she was unable to tell her husband what year it was. Mr. Hall knew his wife was in trouble. A CTscan revealed a subarachnoid hemorrhage (bleeding in the area between the brain and the thin tissues that cover the brain). To help alleviate the pressure and build up of blood, an external ventricular drain (EVD) was placed in Mrs. Hall’s brain. She was transferred to the Neurosurgical ICU at NSUH under the care of Richard Temes, MD, a neuro-intensivist.
Two days later, Mrs. Hall asked her husband the gut-wrenching question: “Are we married?” That’s when Mr. Hall contacted North Shore-LIJ photographer Adam Cooper (who photographed the couple’s wedding), asking for proofs of their special day. Raleigh made it his mission to help bring back his wife’s memory. It began to work.
The more visitors and staff that entered Mrs. Hall’s photo-filled room, reflecting on the shared love between the couple, the more Mrs. Hall began to reflect on that same love. “Hope … it happens,” Mr. Hall said as he discussed his wife’s battle with the hemorrhage. The couple credits Cooper’s photographs and the overwhelming power of love to her recovery.
As the couple cut through a chocolate filled cake covered with white flowers at the celebration at North Shore Hospital, Mrs. Hall was reminded of her own wedding cake. Ian Holmes (a former “American Idol” contestant) sang the couples favorite song, “Love Is…” moments before Mr. Hall proposed a toast to “hope and life.”
Mrs. Hall says she “feels great right now … the ICU staff was great,” and she continues to be active in her physical therapy. They attribute overcoming their adversity to what Mr. Hall called “science and art coming together for the betterment” of people.
To see a video of this event, Click Here.
About North Shore-LIJ Health System
One of the nation's largest health systems, North Shore-LIJ delivers world-class clinical care throughout the New York metropolitan area, pioneering research at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, a visionary approach to medical education highlighted by the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, and healthcare coverage to individuals, families and businesses through the North Shore-LIJ CareConnect Insurance Co. Inc. North Shore-LIJ cares for people at every stage of life at 17 hospitals and more than 400 outpatient physician practices throughout the region. North Shore-LIJ’s owned hospitals and long-term care facilities house more than 6,000 beds, employ more than 10,000 nurses and have affiliations with over 9,400 physicians. With a workforce of about 48,000, North Shore-LIJ is the largest private employer in New York State. For more information, go to www.northshorelij.com.