Bryan Stow's doctor speaks about his recovery

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Bryan Stow's doctor speaks about his recovery
The Giants fan attacked by two men outside Dodger Stadium in 2011 has made an amazing recovery so far.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Among all the fans cheering on the San Francisco Giants in this World Series, perhaps one of the best known, is Bryan Stow -- the lifelong Giants fan who was brutally attacked by two men outside Dodger Stadium three years ago.

In an ESPN interview we can see how Stow is showing some remarkable improvement. He has come a long way since the brain injury that nearly ended his life.

Wednesday, ABC7 News spoke with one of the doctors who cared for him in the days and weeks after that injury and got his reaction to Stow's progress.

"Had I known, I would've turned to see the guy running at me and ready to clock my block, you know?" Stow said.

This is a far different Stow than we've seen in the past. Dr. Phiroz Tarapore remembers when he first got the call that stow was coming to San Francisco General Hospital.

"He called me and said, 'Do you remember that Giants fan that got beaten up? He's going to be coming up to our service,'" recalled Tarapore.

Stow was transferred from Los Angeles after extensive surgery to relieve the swelling in his brain.

"He was able to show fingers and wiggle toes. He answered questions with single words, but he was not able to form sentences or really to express much emotion," Tarapore said.

Regardless, now he is expressing not only words, but hopes and dreams.

"I want to run. I want to walk, like a normal person," Stow said.

"All those things were new. They were different from the way that he was when he left. So it was a testament to his ability to heal," Tarapore said. "We know that a young brain in particular after an accident like this has an amazing capacity to regenerate itself."

Tarapore says Stow was not only young, but physically fit before the attack and that may have greatly helped his recovery. Stow still needs help getting around and doing the little tasks of everyday life. For now, he's living with his parents.

Doctors can't say what the future holds.

"We still don't know to what extent people are able to improve after a traumatic brain injury. We know that they can continue to improve three, four, or five years often after the initial event," Tarapore said.

But with his parents by his side and the Giants in the World Series, Stow says he's happy. He said he enjoys, "just being alive. Waking up every morning and knowing I'm here and this place makes me feel good."

Now, as you can imagine, Stow's care has been very expensive, and a court awarded him $18 million to cover those expenses, to be paid mainly by the Dodgers. But he hasn't seen any of that money yet because it remains tied up in post-trial motions.