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Radio Personality & Stroke Survivor Deke Bellavia Helps Unveil New Tulane Neuroscience Center

Tulane Medical Center August 18, 2016

Tulane Health System held a ribbon cutting on Wednesday, Aug. 17, to celebrate the grand opening of the Tulane Health System Neuroscience Center, a comprehensive center caring for patients with brain, spine and nervous system conditions.

Deke Bellavia, of WWL Radio, shared his personal story as a stroke survivor. “I was just telling the doctors; I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you all!” Bellavia said during the event.

On Oct. 19, 2014, during WWL Radio’s Saints postgame show, Bellavia had a stroke while on the air. “I was just incoherent. I was thinking I’m hearing my words come out correctly, but I was slurring,” Bellavia recalled. As his symptoms continued to worsen, Bellavia turned to his co-host Bobby Hebert and told him he saw roaches crawling on the walls, but there were no roaches. That’s when they stopped the radio show and rushed Bellavia to Tulane Medical Center’s Comprehensive Stroke Center. “I look back at it; I didn’t realize how fortunate I was because of the care. I knew that I was in great hands, and anybody who comes to Tulane is, too.”

Stroke is just one of the many conditions treated at Tulane Neuroscience Center. “Our experts treat back pain, neck and spine problems, brain tumors, migraines and even conditions of the peripheral nervous system such as carpel tunnel,” said Dr. Aaron Dumont, director of the Center for Clinical Neurosciences at Tulane University School of Medicine. “Our new center is a one-stop-shop for patients with any neurological condition.”

Disorders of the nervous system can affect the entire body and threaten a patient’s life or independence. Treatment and management is likely to involve many different healthcare providers and multiple specialties. The Tulane Neuroscience Center now provides access to all neuroscience specialists in one location, providing easy, quick access for patients and caregivers alike.

The Tulane Neuroscience Center works in partnership with the Tulane University School of Medicine’s Center for Clinical Neurosciences, where Tulane physicians train many of our nation’s neurosurgeons and neurologists.

“This center is a great example of the partnership between Tulane Health System and Tulane University School of Medicine,” said Dr. William Lunn, president and CEO of Tulane Health System. “Our experts are working together in one space and collaborating for the benefit our patients, all while continuing our mission to provide education, research and patient care that is truly world class.”

Ben Johnson, president and CEO of the New Orleans Chamber, also attended and presented Dr. William Lunn with a plaque recognizing Tulane Health System’s recent investment in the downtown community.

Located in the heart of downtown New Orleans, the Tulane Neuroscience Center draws from all the resources of Tulane Health System to meet patients’ needs in a caring, supportive environment. Tulane Medical Center has state-of-the-art neurosurgical equipment, neurointerventional radiology and specialized imaging equipment, as well as a dedicated Neuro Intensive Care Unit.

“Of course I hope I don’t ever have a stroke again, but if I do, Tulane is in my speed dial, and they’ll get me here,” Bellavia said. “I can tell you, when it comes to something medical, I know I’m safe when I’m here at Tulane.”

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