Dr. Yoshiro Takaoka
Twenty years ago, I went to the VA hospital because a friend (an EMT) told me I suffered symptoms for a stroke. An MRI discovered two problems: an arterio-venous malformation, which was causing the petit mals, and a more serious problem, a giant aneurysm deep in my brain. I was told it was inoperable. I took my pictures to R.J. White, M.D., Ph.D., director of neurosurgery at Metro Hospital in Cleveland. Dr. White was a professor at Case Western Reserve Medical School, a friend of two Popes, a lecturer and surgeon in the Soviet Union and I forget what else. He looked and said he couldn't figure out the procedure, but would send the pictures around the country and around the world. Someone will know, he said, but first, I want my aneurysm specialist to take a look. You've never heard of Dr. Takaoka; he's a humble man, but I consider him one of the top three or four vascular neurosurgeons in the world. Dr. Tak, to make a long story short, said, I can do this operation. He did. That was 20 years ago. Dr. White later told my girl friend that if the darn thing had blown, I'da been dead before I hit the ground. A friendship developed with Dr. Tak and his family, and I enjoyed their company many times before he retired and returned to Japan. I write books and have dedicated more than one of them to Dr. Tak, who is a man of grace.