Three-Year-Old Sayville Boy Survives Severe Brain Bleeding After Falling At Home While Playing Spiderman

BAY SHORE, NY -- Like any other 3-year-old boy, Owen Madden from Sayville, Long Island, loves pretending to be Spiderman, his favorite superhero. One day while playing in the kitchen with his mother nearby, he took a bad fall and hit his head on the hardwood floor. 

After Owen fell, he appeared to be fine and it wasn’t until 24 hours later that he became nauseous and lethargic. He was taken to Southside Hospital’s emergency department in Bay Shore, part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System.  The family was met by Salvatore Insinga, DO, the hospital’s director of neurosurgery. 

“A computed tomography (CT) scan revealed that Owen suffered from an epidural hematoma,” said Dr. Insinga.  “This kind of hematoma is a type of traumatic brain injury in which buildup of blood occurs between the skull and the dura mater, which is the thick membrane covering the brain.  Owen had suffered a fracture from his fall, which caused a small artery in his brain to burst.  This pool of blood was pushing against the top part of Owen’s brain and it needed to be treated immediately.”

Dr. Insinga made a five-centimeter incision through the skull, which allowed him to remove the pool of blood.  The one-hour surgery was a complete success without any neurological deficits.  Once Owen recovered from surgery, he was transferred to North Shore-LIJ’s Cohen Children’s Medical Center for post-operative care. He was discharged the next day and is back playing Spiderman.

  Mrs. Madden offers simple advice to parents.

 “Be observant.  As a mother, you know when your child is crying to get one over on you, but you have this maternal connection with them,” she said. “I knew from the first cry that it was too long and it was always in the back of my head that something wasn’t right.  If you have that feeling, go with your heart.”

About Southside Hospital’s Cushing Neuroscience Institute

Southside Hospital’s Cushing Neuroscience Institute, which partnered with North Shore-LIJ’s Neurosciences program in 2007, includes all aspects of neurological and neurosurgical disease treatment, including a level III epilepsy center that is certified by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers, a New York State Designated Stroke Center which received the Gold Plus Award for outstanding stroke care from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, a comprehensive pain management program and sleep center.  For more information about Southside Hospital’s Cushing Neuroscience Institute, go to or call 631-591-7470.

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