Bryan Stow moved closer to home
SAN FRANCISCO -- Nearly seven weeks after a brutal beating outside Dodger Stadium, a San Francisco Giants fan still in critical condition with brain injuries was jetted Monday to Northern California for more medical care and to be closer to his loved ones.
The attack on Bryan Stow by two drunken Dodgers fans who remain at large saddened and shamed many Los Angeles residents who donated tens of thousands of dollars to his care.
A top neurosurgeon in San Francisco said at a press conference Monday that doctors in Los Angeles did excellent work in providing aggressive treatment in saving Stow's life. Now, doctors at San Francisco General Hospital will take over by stabilizing Stow from his cross-state transport, pore over his medical records and conduct their own tests for what could be a long road to recovery.
"We have to make our own assessments, be able to go through the information and do everything we can to ensure he can have the best outcome possible," said Dr. Geoff Manley, who oversees neurosurgery at San Francisco General Hospital.
The hospital's internationally renowned trauma center specializes in brain injuries, Manley said, and Stow will be monitored by a team of doctors who focus in neurocritical care.
Manley said he hoped to provide more information on Tuesday.
Stow, 42, was targeted while wearing a Giants jersey during the Dodgers home opening win over the Giants on March 31.
Stow had been at Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center since the attack that forced doctors to put him into a medically induced coma to avoid having seizures.
"It's just so nice to have him closer," John Stow, Bryan's cousin, told ESPNLosAngeles.com. "So nice to know that I can spend the day with him and be with my family in the evening. It's really been hard on everyone to be away so long. Ann and Dave [Stow's mother and father] were in L.A. every day except two days, the last seven weeks. Erin and Bonnie [his sisters] were there almost the whole time.
"It's so nice to have him home so we can all have a little bit of normalcy again."
The Santa Cruz man has opened his eyes and made small movements with his arms and legs but his recovery could take a year or longer, according to doctors.
"Those are all positive signs," John Stow said. "Opening your eyes is not involuntary. But still, we need to take it slow. We still just don't know how he's going to respond."
Manley said the study of traumatic brain injury stands years behind other areas of focus in the medical field, namely cancer research, and it's unknown whether Stow will have a full or partial recovery.
"Right now, what we do know is that if we make him stable here, we tune him up and get him in the best possible shape that we can."
Manley and hospital spokeswoman Rachael Kagan said the goal is to prepare him for rehabilitation -- someday.
"He's not ready for a long-term facility, he is still critically ill," Kagan said. "He will be in intensive care."
On Sunday, Ann Stow thanked the people of Los Angeles for supporting her son. The family also said the move to San Francisco was bittersweet because they would be leaving all the wonderful people they had met in Los Angeles.
An outpouring of support for Stow included fundraisers that ranged from bowling tournaments to pasta dinners to donated services such as haircuts and fitness classes. The events are listed on the family's blog.
The Dodgers pledged $25,000 as a reward for aiding in the capture of his attackers (and now have increased the amount). The Associated Press reported erroneously that the Dodgers' initial pledge would go toward Stow's medical care.
Last month, more than $61,000 was raised at a fundraiser at Dodger Stadium. A barbecue in San Jose organized by Stow's co-workers drew more than 2,500 people, and other events are planned.
John Stow said that all the money raised is being put towards Bryan Stow's future medical care, and helping to support his two children.
"Once he recovers enough to be moved to an aftercare facility, the coverage drops off a lot," John Stow said. "And we already know the amount of rehab Bryan will require, because of the area's of his brain that were damaged, it's going to take a lot of time."
Police were still looking for two men suspected in the attack, and $150,000 is being offered as a reward for tips leading to their arrests.
"I'd really like to see these guys caught," John Stow told ESPNLosAngeles.com. "I think it's really important. There's people out there that know who these guys are and you hope over time their conscious gets to them and they come forward."
Stow and two friends were leaving the game when he was attacked. Moments earlier, Stow texted a family member to say he feared for his safety in the rowdy crowd.
Following the attack, Police Chief Charlie Beck beefed up security at Dodger Stadium to deal with fights that had been breaking out at games in recent years.
The LAPD has scheduled a news conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday to update the progress of the investigation and assess how effective the new security procedures at Dodger Stadium have been.
Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Ramona Shelburne and The Associated Press was used in this report.