Department of Neurosurgery

An Unlikely URI Grad: 7 years ago, she beat huge odds just to survive

Credit: The Providence Journal/Bob Breidenbach

“HOPKINTON — Julia DeGiovanni was minutes from death when she was rushed into Rhode Island Hospital.

Both pupils were blown, a sign of the burst aneurysm that was pushing blood down on her cerebrum, which in turn was pushing down on her brain stem.

‘The number of people who survive in her condition is very, very low,’ said her surgeon, Dr. Wael F. Asaad, director of functional and epilepsy neurosurgery at Rhode Island Hospital.

Seven-and-a-half years later, DeGiovanni will walk across the stage Sunday at the University of Rhode Island with a degree in communication studies and a body that is still recovering from a cascading series of medical traumas.”

Read the Full Story: An Unlikely URI Grad


Wael F. Asaad, MD, PhD

Sidney A. Fox and Dorothea Doctors Fox Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience
Director, Functional Neurosurgery and Epilepsy Program
Director, Cognitive Neuro-physiology and Neuro-modulation Laboratory