Matthew Byers, senior editor
President Sandy Pfeiffer underwent surgery to address a subdural hematoma that was discovered during an MRI on Saturday, Feb. 21. Pfeiffer was discharged from Mission Hospital on Tuesday and continues to recover on campus.
Vice President of Academic Affairs Paula Garrett, who is serving as acting president in Pfeiffer’s absence, reported that he was experiencing symptoms which included inhibited motor skills on his right side.
A subdural hemotoma is the collection of blood beneath the dura, the protective outer covering of the brain, and occurs when blood vessels are damaged as a result of physical trauma. Pfeiffer had a minor bicycle accident at Cumberland Island in early January, which he speculates may have caused the injury. Pfeiffer explained that the surgery involved drilling two small holes into his skull and draining fluid from the brain. He has a follow-up CAT scan scheduled in two weeks.
“This has been the best possible outcome. [Sandy’s wife] Evelyn moved the MRI date up, and he’s very fortunate,” Garrett said. “If left unattended, it could have been very serious.”
Garrett reported that he has been in good spirits. While Garrett has been performing day to day tasks such as leading meetings and signing documents, Pfeiffer has remained involved. While there is no set date for him to return to his full responsibilities as president, Garrett said he would likely make a gradual transition and be back before Spring Break.
“He is in great shape. He said he’s going to heal his own way, play his mandolin, and walk,” Garrett said. “He’s answering phone calls and e-mailing like a fiend. He’s already returned to work, but he’s just working from home.”