"The brain stem is notoriously difficult to visualize with a CT scan because it’s at the very base of the skull and there’s all this bone from where your ears are," said Sila.
Sila, who did not treat Fritze, said another complication can be a person's age. A younger person may have a better chance at recovering from a massive stroke.
“The age of the patient is an incredibly important determinate for recovery,” said Sila. “We have neural connections that are like the branches of the trees and it’s pretty incredible how young people can survive what seem to be devastating neurological injuries."