Skateboard accident lands local teen in coma
A high school athlete is in the fight of his life following a serious skateboarding accident that has put him in a medically induced coma. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A high school athlete is in the fight of his life following a serious skateboarding accident that has put him in a medically-induced coma.
Giulian Grasso hit a rock while riding his skateboard in Boulder City on April 22, sending him flying onto the pavement.
"I thought it was not a huge deal. I thought he might have broken an arm or something," says Giulian's father, Jeff.
Jeff is a Boulder City police officer and is used to responding to trauma calls. It wasn't until he saw his 15-year-old son being wheeled out of an ambulance that he realized the severity of the injury.
"I saw my son but I could tell something was wrong," says Jeff. "I realized my worst nightmare had come true."
Giulian hit the pavement on his head and was in bad shape, his brain swelling to six times the normal pressure.
That first night, doctors at University Medical Center had to act fast or Giulian wouldn't make it.
"The neurosurgeon came out and said that he did a craniectomy, the same surgery that Ray Horn had, where they remove the skull flap to alleviate the pressure and it's been a surreal experience ever since," says Jeff.
While Giulian fights on, his father is on a crusade to turn their family's experience into something good.
He's pushing for a national helmet law for skateboards, bikes, scooters -- anything with wheels.
"Just as we put on seat belts in cars, we should be putting on helmets and sometimes we need government to tell us what to do because we like to be arrogant and prideful," says Jeff.
Had Giulian been wearing a helmet, doctors say he'd likely have a few scrapes and a concussion.
Instead, Giulian spent 16 days in a medically-induced coma and is fighting to survive.
This father is leaning on his son for inspiration as he embarks on this campaign.
"Giulian is a leader," says Jeff. "His nickname is the Godfather because he gets things done, he takes care of business, and that's what we're doing for Giulian right now. We're taking care of business."
After our interview, Jeff received some good news. Giulian's brain swelling had returned to normal levels and doctors were taking him out of a medically-induced coma.
By Wednesday afternoon, Giulian had begun to regain slight movement in his hands and was coughing, both good signs.
He only has a 2% chance at a full recovery and brain damage is almost certain, but the extent of Giulian's injuries will not be known until he fully wakes up.
"I don't want any parent to have to go through this and that's I guess the message to be sent," says Jeff. "This is a horrible accident, a preventable accident."