Kevin Chambers Thanks His Neurosurgeons on His New CD

Just a few months ago we shared the story of Kevin Chambers Steedle, a young musician who suffered a life-threatening bleed in his brain. Dr. Robert Solomon and Dr. Sean Lavine worked together to treat Kevin and get him back to making music.

Now Kevin has given his doctors an honor about which few neurosurgeons can boast: He thanked them in the liner notes of his latest CD.

In early 2015 Kevin learned that he had an abnormal tangle of blood vessels in his brain called an arteriovenous malformation (AVM). The AVM was near the speech center of Kevin’s brain, and when it began to bleed, it left him unable to talk (or sing, for that matter).

Kevin’s hometown doctors recommended radiation treatment for the AVM, but his parents wanted a second opinion. They researched the top AVM doctors in the country, which led them to Dr. Solomon and Columbia University Medical Center/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

Dr. Solomon thought Kevin’s AVM wasn’t the whole story. He suspected the AVM was hiding an aneurysm, an area where a blood vessel in the brain has become thin and is bulging outward like a balloon. If Kevin had an aneurysm, waiting for radiation treatment would be too risky—a burst aneurysm is a life-threatening emergency.

Dr. Solomon sent Kevin to Dr. Lavine for an angiogram, in which Dr. Lavine used a combination of contrast dye and X-Ray to see the blood vessels in Kevin’s brain. The angiogram confirmed the presence of an AVM and found that Dr. Solomon’s suspicions had been correct—Kevin also had an aneurysm.

Dr. Lavine then maneuvered a small catheter under fluoroscopic X-Ray guidance from Kevin’s leg artery all the way into the brain arteries. He then selected the specific artery in the AVM containing the aneurysm with the micro-catheter, and infused a glue-like material into the aneurysm and AVM in a process called embolization. This eliminated the aneurysm and a portion of the AVM. After this procedure, it was safe for Dr. Solomon to proceed with surgery that cured Kevin of both problems.

Following Dr. Lavine’s angiogram and embolization, and Dr. Solomon’s surgery, Kevin was quickly aneurysm– and AVM-free. In fact, he recovered so well that he was onstage just four months after surgery, performing at Musikfest in Bethlehem, PA.

Now he’s released a short album called “Starting Over” (under the name Kevin Chambers). He recently sent a copy to the Department of Neurosurgery, thanking Dr. Lavine and Dr. Solomon for giving him “a chance to start over.”

“It has been over a year since I had surgery, and I continue to get better each month,” Kevin wrote. “I wanted to thank you profusely!”

We wish Kevin the best of luck with his career and thank him for giving Dr. Solomon and Dr. Lavine a small place in music history!