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University of Iowa News Release

July 13, 2006

Kernels To Honor UI Patient At July 14 Game

The Cedar Rapids Kernels will honor a man who received life-saving treatment at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics during the team's next Homerun for Life event July 14 at Veterans' Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids.

The honoree is 34-year-old William Pitzen of Cedar Rapids. Pitzen was rushed to a local hospital after he began to see double and speak abnormally on Aug. 22, 2005. His co-workers knew something was wrong and called 9-1-1. MRI and CT scans performed there did not detect the cause of his symptoms.

Pitzen was transferred to UI Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, the state's only comprehensive academic medical center. Andrew Lee, M.D., a professor and neuro-ophthalmologist in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, diagnosed Pitzen with a stroke called top of the basilar syndrome. As Pitzen was being admitted, a second stroke occurred.

A repeat scan showed a developing blockage in an artery in the brain. Another member of the UI neurosciences team, John Chaloupka, M.D., a professor and interventional neuro-radiologist in the Department of Radiology, treated Pitzen with a clot-dissolving medication. Following a 33-day hospital stay, Pitzen returned home. He currently is scheduled for eye surgery with Richard Olson, M.D., to correct a stroke-related problem with his eyesight.

Kernels' staff members will introduce Pitzen to fans at Friday's game. He will then circle the bases to celebrate his new lease on life. Harold Adams, M.D., a professor in the Department of Neurology who treated Pitzen while he was hospitalized, as well as several other members of his health care team, will join him.

For more information about UI Neurosciences, please visit online at

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,