Todd's Medical Bills/Brain Surgery

For the last 2 1/2 years my health plummeted because my brain has a pressure issue that results in brain fluid leaking.  I received two brain surgeries in the past year. One at UCSF and a craniotomy at Barrow Neurological Institute.  After the surgeries, my brain still makes a sucking noise and leaks fluid. I am currently seeking a solution and may be close to an effective treatment.

I have accrued $60,000 in bills and have worked hard at home to pay it down. With continued disability, I have been unable to bring in sufficient income, so I had to finance medical charges on credit cards. These bills are specific to payments to doctors, specialists, health organizations, and medications, but not housing, travel, apparel, etc. I would not normally ask for assistance. I hate doing this -- but I have maxed out my credit cards. A donation of any amount will really help, and all funds go exclusively to medical bills.

History:  I have a history of multiple traumatic brain injury.  My recent deterioration started in 2013 when I bashed my head in an auto accident when i was volunteering my time to help put a new public radio station on the air. I developed persistent nausea, headache, and running nose. From there it got worse:  Pinched nerves, numbness, reduced cognition, and sense of smell and taste gradually disappeared.  Problem is greatly exacerbated by head or jaw movement.  After a month I started to lose weight. I got a G-tube placed for tube feeding due to swallowing problems and malabsorption, losing as much as 55 lbs, with my lowest weight being 94 lbs. 

In late 2014 I started seeing specialists at UCSF in San Francisco. At that time, my brain started to make an audible loud slurping noise that you can hear several feet away. It was not until I saw an experienced Oxford/Harvard/UCSF-trained neurologist who was able to think outside the box, that it was discovered that I have had two intermittent leaks from my brain to my nasal area. The MRI shows my frontal lobe pulled into one of the holes.

In May 2015 UCSF performed surgery and attempted to patch the problem area, but afterward, the "sucking" got worse, enveloping my cranial nerves. 

The defects are seen on CT imaging, however, they are unable to determine the origin of the noise. While neurologists are able to diagnose a tumor from an MRI, determioning functional/chronic issues is a Pandora's box. I've been bounced from specialist to specialist.

I obtained a second surgery at Barrow Neurological Institute in September where they agressively tried to patch the holes via very invasive procedure. After the surgery, my brain started made the noises again.  A few weeks after, I tested positive for brain fluid leaking out of my nose.

Recently, there has been a hypothesis made regarding the source of the remaining elusive brain/sinus issue that comports to my exact symptoms. I am exploring options for hopefully fixing the problem and returning to "normal." (I will be sure to update everyone regarding this). Concurrent, I am attempting to pay medical bills and find funds to pay for (hopefully) the final diagnostics and treatment.  Limited funds have slowed my pursuit. This and the past bills have made the situation stressful. 

PS: Who Am I?:  I'm from the Sacramento area and recently re-located to the Santa Clarita Valley. I lived by myself until mid-2013 in Davis when I moved in with my dad who is helping to care for me.

I have a degree in Civil Engineering from UC Davis but became interested in radio after managing KDVS, the university radio station. I like working with public/community noncommercial radio (installing transmitters and equipment, contract radio engineering, proposing new radio facilities with the FCC). I do a large amount of free engineering work for nonprofits that cannot afford it to get community radio stations on the air. I also helped form the non-profit non-profit organization Common Frequency, which helped create an opportunity for thousands of new public radio stations.

I consider myself to be an optimist: analytical, spiritual, vegetarian, laid-back Californian. I enjoy technical writing, programming, outdoors, daytrips,  playing music, vegetarian cooking, vintage fashion, design, mid-century architecture, 1970 style, gardening, DJ-ing , record collecting, camping, and nonprofit volunteering.

I am greatly appreciative for any assistance that you can provide, and look forward to paying it forward when I am feeling better.


Todd Urick

Donations (0)

  • Laurie Sihvonen 
    • $20 
    • 14 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 18 mos
  • Ron and Diana Glick 
    • $100 
    • 19 mos
  • Sharon Zimmerman 
    • $100 
    • 19 mos
  • KNSJ 89.1 FM CommunityRadio 
    • $100 
    • 19 mos


Todd Urick 
Castaic, CA
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