Long Island high school football coach receives life-saving brain surgery before championship game

SUFFOLK COUNTY, Long Island (WABC) -- A Long Island high school football coach complaining of chronic headaches did not expect the diagnosis he received, but he knew he'd do whatever it took to be at the championship game.

Kyle Moodt, 38, is the assistant varsity football coach at Bellport High School and had been experiencing debilitating headaches since July.

"At times, I would have to lay down whether I had practice or even in school," said Moodt. "It was affecting my teaching in the classroom. I was teaching more from my desk than I have in most of my years. When I went home, after work, I was very tired. I felt like I wasn't able to contribute to the household as much and more fell on my wife's shoulders."

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With the big game quickly approaching, Moodt visited Dr. David Fiorella at the Stony Brook University Hospital to figure out what was causing the constant brain fog and pain.

After several tests, the medical team determined Moodt had a life-threatening malformation of the arteries in his brain.

An arteriovenous fistula, or DAVF, increased the pressure in his brain and put him at risk for a burst blood vessel.

Dr. Fiorella and the team of doctors at Stony Brook acted quickly to perform a minimally invasive surgery to help correct the brain malformation.

"We have the newest and latest technologies here at Stony Brook, which allow us not only to do these minimally invasive procedures through these approaches, but very safely and very, very quickly," said Dr. Fiorella.

The surgery took place on November 16, just four days before the DII Suffolk County Championship game.

Moodt said that within a day after the surgery he felt like a completely different person.

"It's amazing. I don't have brain fog," said Moodt. "Had a good night's sleep. I slept through the night. Woke up without a headache. I haven't taken any medicine or Tylenol in 24 hours. The headaches that I've had for months are not there. Luckily, we were able to get to the bottom of this."

The Bellport Clippers had the support of Moodt coaching from the sidelines on November 20 when they won the championship game 13-0 -- after not winning a title since 2010.

For Moodt, the community is what matters most to him and it was important for him to be in good health for "both of his families"-- at home and on the field.

"I wanted to make sure that I would be able to make it to the game as the team gets ready for one of the biggest moments in their life, but more importantly, family and my well-being came first," said Moodt. "But the football team is family too. Some of these kids I've known since fifth grade. Some I played with their fathers or uncles as an offensive lineman for three years."

Moodt is grateful to be able to continue to contribute to his community both on and off the field.



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