Nathan - Brain Surgery Patient Story

Nathan Barcaskey was a healthy, happy, energetic kid. He loved to wrestle, play basketball, and take hikes in the woods. When Nathan started complaining of bad headaches, his mother took him to the family’s primary care physician (PCP), who recommended they see Bilal Sitwat, MD, a neurologist in the Brain Care Institute at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

brain surgery patient story

Dr. Sitwat immediately ordered an MRI for Nathan and reviewed the scans with a team of doctors from the Brain Care Institute. They concluded that Nathan was suffering from a rare brain disorder known as Moyamoya syndrome, which restricted blood flow to Nathan’s brain. Within a few weeks, Stephanie Greene, MD, a neurosurgeon at Children’s, performed a complex and delicate operation to redirect healthy blood vessels to Nathan’s brain. Today, he has regained the energy and youthful spirit that makes him a favorite among his six siblings and countless friends.

“They spoke to me in terms I could understand, and they quickly found out what my son was suffering from. I felt confident that they were the best people to treat Nathan and I was right — they saved his life.”

-Colleen Barcaskey, Nathan’s Mother

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About Neurosurgery

The UPMC Department of Neurosurgery is the largest academic neurosurgical provider in the United States. We perform more than 11,000 procedures each year. We treat conditions of the brain, skull base, spine, and nerves, including the most complex disorders. Whether your condition requires surgery or not, we strive to provide the most advanced, complete care possible. Our surgeons are developing new techniques and tools, including minimally invasive treatments. U.S. News & World Report ranks neurology and neurosurgery at UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside as among the best in the country. We also rank among the top neurosurgery departments in the U.S. for National Institutes of Health funding, a benchmark in research excellence.