St. Elizabeth's Health Center participating in traumatic brain i - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

St. Elizabeth's Health Center participating in traumatic brain injury research

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

After Bill Greenamyer of Salem wrecked his ATV this past summer, his wife Michele was convinced his life was over.

"I thought he was dead," said Michele Greenamyer of Salem.

After arriving by helicopter at St. Elizabeth's, doctors discovered Bill had sustained a broken neck, a broken finger, a collapsed lung and severe head trauma.

"He was on a ventilator.  They came in, said that it wasn't good.  He had brain bleeds," said Michele Greenamyer.

Within hours of arriving, Michele was approached by doctors to see if she'd be interested in having Bill participate in a clinical study.  St. Elizabeth's is one of 150 trauma centers conducting research to determine if the hormone progesterone, which has been shown to protect the brains of animals, has effects on the outcome of traumatic brain injury patients.

"I was told probably within a year of the injury I should have most of my memory and all of my function back.  Well that is long ago.  All but the hospital I don't remember, everything else is clear and everything is good," said Bill Greenamyer of Salem.

Although, researcher won't know until the study is complete if the medicine they gave Bill did in fact contain the hormone or if it was a placebo.

"We've seen patients that we think, 'Oh they must be getting the drug,' but they may just be getting the milk.  We don't know and we won't know until it's completed, but some patients have seemed to do awfully well and we are hoping that is the drug working because it would be great if we did have something we could give patients that would truly effect their outcome," said Dr. Kenneth Ransom the principal investigator at Humility of Mary Health Partners.

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