Press Release

Cerebrovascular team joins former patient for second marathon

March 16, 2017
From left, Jonathan Russin, MD, stands at the finish line of the 2016 Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon with former patient Kathy Nguyen and her husband, Robby. (Photo/Mary Dacuma)

A former patient of the USC Comprehensive Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center once again will be joined by the treatment team that saved her life, to run the 2017 Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon on March 19.
Kathy Nguyen survived a brain aneurysm in March 2015. After collapsing during a family brunch, Nguyen was transferred to Keck Medical Center, where William Mack, MD, associate professor of neurological surgery (clinical scholar) at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, recognized the complexity of Nguyen’s aneurysm and Jonathan Russin, MD, assistant professor of clinical neurological surgery, performed a PICA-PICA bypass, which involves suturing the right and left PICAs together to ensure proper blood flow to the brainstem while preventing additional bleeding from the aneurysm. USC is one of a handful of centers in the country that can perform this rare procedure.
Less than a year after waking up from the procedure, Nguyen ran the 2016 Los Angeles Marathon with Russin; Cherise Lathan, PT, DPT, physical therapist at Keck Medical Center; Joseph Hendrix, physician assistant at the neurosciences clinic; Valerie Sanchez, administrative assistant; and Chris Sickels, development officer.
Russin again will join Nguyen to run 26.2 miles through Los Angeles, along with several neurosurgery residents, coordinator and other staff members, to continue to raise awareness and funds for the cerebrovascular program.
For more information about Nguyen’s recovery, go to