Branislav Rasic is one of the best known Yugoslav Rock Photographs. He made his name in Dzuboks, then free-lanced from London, where he now lives and works.
Dear Buco and all of Branko's friends,
The sad news of Branko's departure reached mi in Spain, and hence I write this with a delay.
In some ways, I am happy I had a chance to see him in the hospital and tell him some words...it is true that we have not seen much of each other since he came to live in London, so I said to him - when you wake up, we ought to put it right.
Unfortunately, this will not happen now. Still, as my beginnings are in Dzuboks, I can't help remembering the good times we've had working there together. Cira (Milisav Cirovic), Vuja (Radoslav Vujovic), Moma (Momcilo Rajin), Kremer (Dragan Kremer), Ljuba (Ljuba Trifunovic) - we were all a family who tried to pass on to others their love of R&R.
Branko is one of those who indebt so many. It is never good when someone goes before their time and break the natural circle. Even the songs we love say the same...He had so much more to say and show.
His family lost a son and a brother, and all of us lost a still young man who left so much in his wake. That will never be forgotten.
May God Bless his soul.
Brian Branislav Rasic - Rasa
From: Brasic@aol.com [mailto:Brasic@aol.com]
Sent: 03 September 2003 13:03
To: "Predrag Popovic"
Subject: Re: What's happening now?
Dragi Buco i svi Brankovi drugovi i prijatelji,
Tuzna vest o Brankovom odlasku me je zatekla u Spaniji pa se javljam malo kasnije.
Na neki nacin sam srecan da sam ga ipak video u bolnici i eto rekao mu neke reci ... istina je da se nismo bas druzili za njegovog boravka u
Londonu pa sam mu rekao da kada se probudi ... da to ispravimo. Nazalost ... to se nece desiti. Ipak, ima dovoljno lepih trenutaka iza nas tokom
Dzuboks dana posto su i moji pocetci vezani sa taj list a i ljude koji su tada u njemu radili. Cira,Vuja,Moma,Kremer,Ljuba,... svi smo mi bili
jedna familija koja je eto svoju ljubav prema r´n´r pokusavala da prenese drugima. Branko je jedan od tih koji je svakako iza sebe ostavio mnoge "duznike" ... Nikada nije dobro kada ode neko pre vremena ... kada se taj prirodni krug polomi. I pesme koje volimo to kazu. Utoliko je teze izgubiti nekog poput Branka. On je svakako imao jos toga da kaze i pokaze. Njegova porodica pre svega je izgubila svog brata i sina a mi svi jednog mladog coveka koji je iza sebe ostavio traga. Taj trag ce se spominjati zauvek.
Bog da mu dusu prosti i slava mu.
Brian Branislav Rasic - Rasa
04 September 2003 09:41 Gillian
Welch was great!
But then you know it, Branko, don’t you? Happy b’day!
03 September 2003 15:22
As per Simon’s e-mail, the above is the IMDB entry for Branko.
From: Simon George [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: 03 September 2003 15:01
To: Predrag Popovic
Subject: RE: www.serbiancafe.com
You may also like to add Branko's entry on IMDB (the internet movie database)
which contains some information on his work for us non-Serbian speakers.
03 September 2003 14:09 www.serbiancafe.com
The www.serbiancafe.com forum has a thread on Branko. You can check it by following this URL: http://www1.serbiancafe.com/diskusije/mesg/125/001623351.shtml?7.
From: Danko [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 03 September 2003 14:02
To: Predrag Popovic
Subject: Mozda moze i ovo
na www.serbiancafe.com je neko stavio vest o Brankovoj smrti na forum o rock-u. Evo ti link:
pa ako mislis da bi to trebalo staviti na bvnews, onda to uradi.
03 September 2003 10:12 www.finsoft.com/Branko reorganised
You will find it now features photographs and the archives of in memoriam texts and the postings to this group.
03 September 2003 10:12 What's happening now?
Nena and the family reserved a plot at the Centralno Cemetary in Belgrade. To actually buy it, the family need to produce a death certificate, which is pending the Coroner’s Inquest (autopsy) to be carried out in London later today (this is a requirement of UK law, as Branko died as a result of an accident and not of natural causes)
In parallel, we are trying to finalise the paperwork which Serbian authorities require in order to allow Branko’s body into the country.
Should we succeed in getting all the paperwork together in a reasonable time frame (not an easy task!), then Branko’s funeral will take place in Belgrade in the near future.
I am afraid we can not be more precise than this - there are quite a few unknowns in this process and a lot of co-ordination is required in order to bring everything together.
We will keep you posted.
Nena I porodica su rezervisali parcelu na Centralnom Groblju u Beogradu. Da bi je I kupili, treba im smrtovnica, a to mogu da dobiju tek kad se zavrsi zvanicna autopsija kasnije tokom dana (ovo zahtevaju Engleske vlasti, jer Branko nije umro prirodnom smrcu).
U paraleli, pokusavamo da zavrsimo papirologiju za prenos Branka u Beograd.
Ako uspemo da pribavimo svu potrebnu dokumentaciju u razumno vreme (tezak zadatak!), onda ce se Branko sahraniti u Beogradu u dogledno vreme.
Na zalost, ne mozemo biti nista precizniji u proceni - u ovom procesu ima dosta nepoznanica I potrebno je dosta organizacije da bi se sve privelo zavrsetku.
Redovno cemo vas obavestavati.
02 September 2003 14:31 www.finsoft.com/Branko
Tamsyn put together a small photo-archive at the above URL. Click on a thumbnail to get a bigger image and extra details on a photograph.
Please send any photographs of Branko that you have and like. We will post them to the Web.
02 September 2003 12:13 B92 posts in-memoriam for Branko (in Serbian)
B92, a very popular Belgrade Radio station and a publishing house, posted an in-memoriam for Branko on their web site. Check the URL’s from Moma Rajin’s e-mail.
The writer refers to Branko as "one of the leading Yugoslav rock critics. His texts raised the level of understanding and writing about Rock and Roll across the former Yugoslavia... Writing for Dzuboks and Ritam, he influenced not just the R&R public, but helped shaped our understanding of the place of music in modern media."
02 September 2003 11:50 Branko's birthday gatherings in Belgrade and
On Thursday, 4th September at 2PM Branko’s friends will gather in Kinoteka (Serbian National Film Archive film theatre) to mark his birthday. They will see the two films for which Branko wrote screenplays ("Kako je propao Rock and Roll" and "Vita Jela Zelen Bor"). If you are in Belgrade or the area, please drop in (Serbian readers, see e-mail from Moma Rajin below).
In London, some of us will see Gillian Welch at Sheppards Bush tomorrow (3rd September) - Branko was an avid fun and this was supposed to be his birthday treat. On Thursday evening, we will gather at Nena’s house.
02 September 2003 10:54 more Goranka's photographs of Branko
In late 70s, Goranka was a conceptual artist and a friend of Branko's. Branko encouraged her to express her visual sense through photography. In time, Goranka focused exclusively on photography and became one of the best known photographers in Yugoslavia.
She remained a close friend. A gentle and caring person, she's always looked after all of us wayward journalist and movie brats, particularly Branko.
I asked Goranka to dig some more through her archive. This is what she found in the last thrall - a series of photographs following a lunch with Mira Furlan (not seen in this set) and Goran Gajic.
02 September 2003 10:48 From Mira Furlan and Goran Gajic (mostly in Serbian)
The letter below is from Mira Furlan and her husband Goran Gajic, both very good friends of Branko. Mira is an actress, Goran is a film director. They live and work in LA and are very well known all around Yugoslavia and further. Branko and Goran collaborated on two feature-length films.
The letter will be published by Vreme, a Belgrade weekly this Thursday, which coincides with Branko’s birthday.
For English readers, I translated the first paragraph.
"30 August 2003 Branko died today. Four days ahead of his birthday, a day following Goran’s, a week before mine. Three Virgos, us. Three Virgos who found themselves some years ago, at a midnight on a midsummer’s night, at the top of Glastonbury Tor, and had themselves a kebab each. Branko said: "Three Virgos, three kebabs in the middle of a vortex at midnight - perhaps at this very moment, by doing this here, we are affecting the balance of the world"... So have we really messed it up? Then? There? Because the balance is so dangerously damaged. The world without Branko is unthinkable: in a single moment an unbearable amount of goodness, kindness, warmth, profoundness, wisdom and intellect has just vanished. How I loved him! How we loved him!"
30. 8. 2003.
Danas je umro Branko. 4 dana prije svog rodjendana, dan poslije Goranovog, 7 dana prije mog. Mi, tri djevice. Tri djevice koje su se pred nekoliko godina jedne ljetne noci tocno u ponoc zatekle na vrhu navodno carobnog brda u Glastoburyju gdje su, gladne, pojele svaka po jedan kebab. Branko je rekao: tri djevice i tri kebaba usred vortexa u ponoc - mozda upravo u ovom casu, ovim cinom na ovom mjestu, remetimo ravnotezu svijeta. Jesmo li je zaista poremetili? Tada? Tamo?
Jer ravnoteza je opasno poremecena. Svijet bez Branka u njemu je nezamisliv: u jednom casu je nestala nepodnosljiva kolicina dobrote, topline, finoce, dubine, mudrosti, pameti. Kako sam ga voljela! Kako smo ga voljeli! Upoznala sam ga kao Goranovog prijatelja, a onda je to prestalo biti vazno: Branko je postao i moj prijatelj. Pravi, duboki, jedinstveni, samo jedan na svijetu. Branko.
Svijet bez Branka u njemu ne da se podnijeti. Ne zelim takav svijet. Necu ga. Odbijam ga.
Zasto uporno i besmisleno nestaju oni koji su nas voljeli, oni koje smo mi voljeli? Zasto smo okruzeni sve vecom gomilom zlih, ravnodusnih, malih, zlobnih, zavidnih, sitnih, koristoljubivih, glupih? Zasto Bog to tako smisli da upravo najpametnijeg, majmudrijeg medju nama razvali svom snagom, iz cistog mira, ravno u tu divnu pametnu glavu, u taj mozak koji smo toliko trebali, u koji smo se pouzdavali, kojem smo isli po savjet kad smo bili zbunjeni, kad smo bili nesretni, kad nismo znali kako dalje?
Razgovor s Brankom bio je kao lijek na ranu, kao melem, kao kupka u cistoj bistroj vodi. On je znao slusati, on je cuo, on je vidio, on je razumio, on je znao voljeti.
Nije bilo jednostavno biti s Brankom. Trebalo je samog sebe uzvisiti, trebalo se izdici iznad malog, sitnog, groznicavog, banalonog, glupog sebe. Razgovor s njim je bio kao uzlijetanje, kao prociscenje, kao prosvjetljenje.
Moj zadnji razgovor s njim se zbio proslog ljeta, za mog slucajnog kratkog boravka u Londnonu. Rastali smo se u taksiju, ja sam izlazila, on se vozio dalje, ali se nikako nismo mogli rastati. Sjedili smo i pricali u zaustavljenom taksiju dok je taksist pusio zadovoljno gledjuci brojcice svog taksimetra. Branku sam mogla sve reci. Sve. Nije priznavao ni dozvoljavao opceprihvacenu formu traca ili petparacke amaterske nadripsihologije. Uvijek samo bit, samo sustina. Ni manje ni vise. Te noci u tom taksiju sm razgovarali o tome kako smo bolesni od nedostatka... cega? Ne znam vise kako smo to na kraju nazvali: duhovnost, dusa, umjetnost? Cega to tako strasno nedostaje u nasim izmjestenim, raspadnutim zivotima? On mi je na kraju rekao: " U redu, ako toga nema oko nas, ako nam to ne daju, onda to moramo sami izmisliti". I kao da smo zapoceli nesto, kao da smo sklopili pakt, zagrlili smo se i ja sam izasla iz taksija sretna. Sretna zbog toga sto Branko postoji na ovom svijetu.
Bio je kompliciran. Stvari s njim nikad nisu isle lako i glatko. Kako sam sada sretna sto su dva prijatelja, Goran i Branko, ipak, usprkos svemu, uspjeli snimiti zajednicki film, "Video jela, zelen bor" u kojem sam imala cast ucestvovati i to neposredno prije rata koji nas je rastjerao po svijetu. Od svih drugih, mnogobrojnih planova nije se nista ostvarilo niti ce se, sad to znamo, ikad ostvariti. Ta definitivnost je toliko strasna da je covjek uporno odbija prihvatiti jer mu se u protivnom cini da ce mu srce prepuknuti od boli.
Branko je bio u isto vrijeme i previse darovit i previse samokritican. Ubitacna kombinacija. Djevice: mracni, teski, zajebani, samokriticni do samodestrukcije. Rekla bih jos jednu rijec, tako staromodnu, tako prezrenu: cedni. Fini. To se vise ne nosi - sad je u modi drskost, bezobrazluk, ambicija, posvecenost samo jednom cilju - ostvarivanju "uspjeha" pod svaku cijnu. To nije Brankov svijet.
Mrzim svijet bez njega i onu silu koja nam ga je odlucila oduzeti. Nikada necu preboljeti njegovu besmisleno okrutnu smrt i nikada necu oprostiti tom cinicnom bogu kojem se prohtjelo da nas na ovaj uzasni nacin podsjeti na svoje postojanje.
Pokusat cu u sebi zauvijek zadrzati te tople divne oci, te duboke razgovore, one koje jedino imaju smisla, zajednicka putovanja nase male djevicanske trojke po Walesu i Skotskoj, tu spremnost da se popije 20 viskija i da se istovremeno razgovara o etici Tome Akvinskog i T.S, Eliottu.
Moja i nasa velika zelja je bila da zajedno putujemo po Irskoj. Ovoga puta to ne bi vise bio trio Goran - Mira - Branko, sad bi se tu umijesao i cetvrti, nas mali Marko. I znam da bi se i on zauvijek zaljubio u Branka, a i Branko u njega. Kako je obozavao svog malog necaka Sasu i kako mu nista, bas nista s njim u vezi nije tesko padalo.
Boze, kakva steta! Kakav uzasni, stravicni gubitak! Mi smo barem imali tu srecu da ga poznajemo, oni ga nikada nece znati.
Obecajemo: drzat cemo te u svojim srcima uvijek i zauvijek da nas grijes kad nam je hladno, da nam pomognes prezivjeti u ovom ravnodusnom opakom sijetu u kojem nista nije sveto i u kojem sve lijepo i dobro i cisto bude zgazeno, popljuvano, ubijeno. Bez milosti. Bez zaljenja.
Cist, dobar, mudar, topao. Kako je malo takvih! Kako smo sami! Sve je manje ljudi koje postujemo, koje volimo. Sve je manje ljudi koji nas postuju, koji nas vole. Suzava se krug, svijet postaje pustinja.
I nema vise nikog da nas izvuce iz barustine, iz kaljuze, jadne i bijedne, u koju tako nepovratno tonemo. Nema nikoga da nas, kao Branko, primora da budemo bolji i visi od samih sebe.
Volimo te, dragi Branko. Zauvijek. Do kraja nasih zivota.
Mira Furlan (s Goranom i Markom Gajicem)
01 September 2003 17:52 What's happening now?
The family are looking into options for Branko’s burial. There are no definitive plans yet as there is quite a lot to find out and organise, regardless of whether he is buried in Belgrade or London.
Naturally, Belgrade burial is much more difficult to arrange, so if the family choose that option, there are no chances of funeral taking place this week.
We will keep you posted.
01 September 2003 17:45 Selection of Branko's photographs
All, We are putting together a selection of Branko's recent photographs and are planning to make them available over the Web. While this is being set up, here is a small selection from Tamsyn and me.
The boy in the photographs is Sasha, Nena's son (Branko's nephew).
01 September 2003 15:50 Sasa Radojevic's in memoriam from 'Blic' - (in
All, Sasa Radojevic was a Dzuboks journalist who, like Branko, went on to the Film School and wrote several scripts, books and recently a novel.
His in memoriam on Branko was published today by the Blic newspaper.
In the text, Sasa calls Branko "the best rock critic and script writer" of his generation.
September 2003 11:21 Branko in Strazilovo
>From Goranka Matic, a very good friend of Branko's and a photographer.
This photograph is from September 85'. We went to Strazilovo because Branko wanted to see the grave of Radicevic (Branko Radicevic, famous Serbian poet), whose name he bears. Our Branko left us in the year which marks 150 years from the death of Branko Radicevic.
This is so hard.
Love you all,
Ps. The inscription on the Radicevic's monument reads "To Branko. Serbian People"
19:04, 31 August: FW: it's not farewell - (in Serbian, apologies to English
readers, but I'm not up to translating it)
Od Mome Rajina. Nisam ga pitao da li smem da prenesem na mrezu, ali srce mi kaze da smem.
Branko zivi kroz toliko zivota da jedna smrt ne menja stvar.
Pokoj mu dusi, hvala I slava mu.
From: RAJIN [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: 31 August 2003 16:44
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: it's not farewell
posle nedelje dana, od kako si nam javio tu besmisleno-tragicnu vest, koja nam protekla u soku, neverici i bunilu, stalnom iscekivanju i nadi u pozitivan ishod Brankovog stanja, nazalost, usledio je najneprijatniji sudar sa realnoscu. Desilo se ono sto smo svi mi uporno odbijali i da pomislimo. Meni, verujem kao i svima, u ovih nekoliko dana neprekidno su prolazile slike i scene naseg druzenja. Besane noci u Dzuboksu, zajednicka letovanja, pa deciji rodjendani, pa nase krstenje gde nam je postao kum, briga oko Ritma... I u svim tim slikama Branko se uvek pojavljuje sa onim svojim stalno lebdecim osmehom. Osmehom koji je cinio da i veliki problemi deluju bezazleno, osmehom koji vas je uvek cinio raspolezenim. Imao je onu tako retku, a toliko dragocenu, sposobnost da u svakom od nas probudi i okurazi ono najpozitivnije, najplemenitije, ono sto je najlepse u svakom coveku. Samo je on znao koliko je to tesko. Ali, nikada nije odustajao. Uvek je tu bio kao stub. Da se naslonite, predahnete i nastavite dalje. Tako ga pamtimo mi, tako ce ga zapamtiti moja deca. I siguran sam ne samo mi...
Nikada nisam mislio da cu raditi ovo. Ne mogu. Ne pristajem. Nema oprastanja od nekog ko je sastavni deo vaseg zivota. Nekoga ko je ziv dokle god ste i sami zivi. Pa makar vise materijalno nije prisutan. Ali, ni emocije nisu materijalne. Ni secanja. A upravo to cini osecaj da ste sa nekim bliski. I to ne moze da nestane. Ona magija koja nas cini ljudima, pa zatim prijateljima. Na neki nama nedokuciv nacin sve to ostaje zabelezeno u ovom univerzumu bez pocetka i kraja. Kad ne bi bilo tako, zar bi sve ovo imalo smisla.
I zato nema poslednje zbogom. Zato nema oprastanja. Jer, Branko zivi kroz sve nas. Ono sto ostaje kao obaveza svih nas koji su imali tu srecu da ga upoznaju i da se sa njim druze jeste da prenesemo ovu pricu onima koji to nisu. Da su i u ovom tako cesto glupavom, groznicavom i materijalistickom svetu moguca prijateljstva, ljubav i briga, cistota emocija. Branko nas na to obavezuje.
Svi smo zateceni ovakvim epilogom. I svi imamo potrebu da nesto uradimo. Pera Jakonic i ja smo danas isli u crkvu i upalili svecu. Siguran sam da su to i svi ostali Brankovi prijatelji i poznanici odavde ucinili. Sa Dinkom Tucakovicem dogovorili smo komemoraciju na dan sahrane u Muzeju kinoteke. Mozda u isto vreme dok traje ukop. Tako bismo bili sa svima vama...
Ideja o Fondu i dodeli godisnje nagrade za najbolji tekst o popularnoj kulturi ili najbolji debitantski scenario je odlicna i samo je treba definisati. Ono sto obecavam da cu licno preduzeti jeste sakupljanje svih Brankovih tekstova i objavljivanje prigodne Antologije. Naravno, nastojacu da to bude prezentovano na najdostojanstveniji nacin. Onako kako to jedino i prilici. Kada na prolece izadje zbirka mojih tekstova objavljenih u poslednje dve godine u "Politici" posveticu je njemu. To bih uradio i da se ovo nije desilo, jer upravo me je Branko nagovorio (da ne kazem "naterao") da u Dzuboksu pisem i o necem drugom osim o omotima ploca. U mom slucaju postoje cetiri coveka koja su mi te '77. pomogla da se na raskrsnici odlucim za put. Moj profesor Moderne umetnosti Lazar Trifunovic, Petar Popovic, Slobodan Konjovic i Branko. Redosled nije po bitnosti i stepenu uticaja. Na zalost, dvojica vise nisu tu...
Buco, ne mogu vise. Prsti mi se grce. Jecaji potresaju telo. Javi se da koordinisemo poteze.
Prenesi bliskima i prijateljima da smo svi ovde duboko potreseni. Zaista je tako.
Smognite snage za sve ono sto je pred vama.
19:40, 30 August: Branko is no longer with us
May God bless his soul.
12:15, 30 August: situation worsens, difficult night, high ICP and blood
Following a relatively calm evening yesterday, Branko’s situation worsened overnight. His ICP and blood pressure were quite high and remained so throughout the morning. Visulally, he appeared OK, but a number of new drugs were administered and, for reason unknown, ICP monitor was removed.
The nurse on duty would nor release more details than this. We are waiting to speak to the doctors.
14:50, 29 August: stable, ICP at 13, ventilator removed, very low level
of sedation back, body temperature normal
Since this morning, the ventilator has been switched off, the cooling stopped and the staff attempted to clean up Branko’s stomach. A combination of all this activity lead to a temporary increase in ICP to 27, which triggered a decision to re-introduce sedation, albeit at a very low level. This has worked and the ICP now is at 13.
Branko is no longer shaking as if being cold - which we witnessed last night, when cooling was on full following withdrawal of sedation. The doctors explained that cooling was required in order to minimise the chance of and increase in body temperature endangering the brain.
He is breathing almost unaided now, in short quick breaths, which visually appears worrying, but is apparently normal. It could be that his lungs are getting used to working unassisted plus he just may need extra oxygen to help his organism get itself into a steady regime.
Heart rate and blood pressure are all OK. All in all, another important milestone (ventilator off) has been achieved and his condition is satisfactory.
More updates later in the day.
1:05, 29th August: Hospital visits
Thank you all for your kind messages and the interest you are showing in Branko's recovery. Following the withdrawal of certain medications he has started making slight movements (although some of them are just reflexes). His nurse said today that unless his brain pressure shoots up (in which case they will sedate him again) they are hoping he may gradually regain consciouness in the next day or so.
The nurse said that, unfortunately, regaining consciousness after such an injury and subsequent heavy sedation may (however welcome) be distressing for both Branko and whoever is present at the time. It is therefore imperative that any visits should be from closest friends and family only.
I hope you understand, and we will of course keep you posted.
With love and gratitude
13:45, 28th August: first attempts to reduce sedation; ICP high; secretions
Doctors made a first attempt to reduce Branko’s sedation yesterday, but his ICP shot up and the sedation levels were restored. Earlier this morning they made another attempt are reducing the sedation, a gentler decrease this time. The ICP went up again, but this time the staff managed to control it at 28-32 level, so the idea now is to continue the gradual, controlled decreases.
The process of waking Branko up will take time, therefore. We should not expect complete withdrawal of sedation for several days. At the earliest, this could happen over the weekend, but Tuesday or Wednesday next week are more likely. We also need to understand that ‘waking up’ does not mean that Branko will just open his eyes and start reacting. Exactly what will happen depends on a number of parameters and so there is no way anyone can accurately predict the state he will be in once sedation is completely withdrawn.
Putting Branko partially on the side was to do help him cough out some lung secretions. This seems to have worked.
Overall, all vital organs are functioning well.
9:40, 28th August: abortive attempt Wed PM to turn Branko on his side
; increased swelling on the left side of his head; stable over night
Yesterday afternoon, medical staff attempted to turn Branko on his side (presumably to reduce the possibility of bed sores or prevent any infection of the lungs), but ICP shot up to 30 and so he was left to lay on his back. ICP then stabilised around 20 and remained at that level in the evening and overnight.
Towards the evening, the swelling on the left side of his head increased. This is the spot where the surgeons opened a flap (i.e. removed a part of the scull in order to make it easier for any expansion of the brain). Couple of red marks, previously not there, became clearly visible. The Neurosurgeons are aware of this development and are saying that this is quite normal and not something that would worry them, as this is precisely the reason the flap was opened in the first place. However, we remained somewhat concerned.
This morning, Nena rang the hospital and got the confirmation that Branko was stable overnight, with ICP at around 20, a slightly higher pressure (170/85 last evening), which was under control. The medical staff reassured Nena that they were happy with Branko’s condition and remained confident that the swelling is nothing to worry about.
Branko was under a cooling blanket all day yesterday. This blanket is filled with a cooling agent only when necessary, which it was on several occasions yesterday. Branko’s body temperature remained stable at around 37.1 Celsius by the evening.
Carey Marx, the first visitor for today, will give us the next update.
Readings, as of 21:10 Wednesday night were as follows:
ICP (Brain Pressure): 18-21 (need it below 25 for 24 hours; ICP at 30 Wed afternoon resets the clock)
HR (Heart Rate): 64-66 (no Noradrenaline, up to 100 is OK)
ABP (Blood Pressure): 175/85 (high, but under control)
CVP (Central Venous Pressure): 8-12 (indicates levels of internal fluids, i.e. body’s ability to naturally drain them. Best yet)
SPO2: 97-100% (perfect)
Respiration: 13 (the ? before was due to sensor being removed - Branko was sweating)
ESCO2: 4.1 (quantity of CO2 he exhales, again OK)
13:30, 27 August: ICP high (27) overnight, came down after cooling off,
withdrawal of sedation postponed for another 24 hours
All, ICP went up to 27 overnight. The medical staff concluded that this is to higher internal temperature. They put a cooling blanket over Branko’s body and this reduced both the internal temperature and ICP, which is now at 19-22 level. Other readings are fine. Heart rate came down to around 65 and the blood pressure went up to 156/60.
Contrary to what we understood before, the target for ICP is 25, not 10, but it must remain below 25 for 24hours before they will start gradual reduction of sedation (now at 22 ml/hour) which will eventually lead to Branko waking up.
Once sedation is withdrawn, they will attempt to reduce respiration support. Branko is already taking breaths on his own from time to time which shows that the brain is active, but we shouldn’t read too much into this - breathing control is the most primitive of brain functions and while it is good that this is happening, it is no indication of the overall state of his brain.
The readings were as follows:
ICP (Brain Pressure): 19-22 (need it below 25 for 24 hours)
HR (Heart Rate): 64-66 (no Noradrenaline, up to 100 is OK)
ABP (Blood Pressure): 156/65
CVP (Central Venous Pressure): 6-10 (indicates levels of internal fluids, i.e. body’s ability to naturally drain them. Best yet)
SPO2: 97-100% (perfect) Respiration: 13 (the ? before was due to sensor being removed – Branko was sweating)
ESCO2: 4.0 (quantity of CO2 he exhales, again OK)
BVNews 21:10, 26 August: First machine switched off: Noradrenaline no
Noradrenaline, the drug which assisted Branko’s heart, is no longer administered. The machine controlling the inflow has been switched off completely. Blood pressure dropped slightly (130/60) and the heart rate increased to around 90 beats per minute, but anything up to 100 is normal in these situations. This is very good news as we believe that it is this drug which kept Branko’s body in what one of the consultants called the ’24 hour marathon race’ mode.
The ICP, which reached a low of 11 during the day (Nena’s e-mail), went up to 16-17 later on - this may be a consequence of Noradrenaline removal.
This morning, the doctors are conducting another assessment to see if the time has come to start waking him up. We should have the decision in the next couple of hours.
ICP (Brain Pressure): 16-17 (but as low as 11 earlier in the day)
HR (Heart Rate): 90-92 (no Noradrenaline, up to 100 is OK)
ABP (Blood Pressure): 130/65 (getting to the normal pressure of a healthy person)
CVP (Central Venous Pressure): 6 (indicates levels of internal fluids, i.e. body’s ability to naturally drain them. Best yet)
SPO2: 97-100% (perfect) Respiration: ? (no reading shown on the monitor, either an error, or possibly an indication ventilator Support is required less)
ESCO2: 4.0 (quantity of CO2 he exhales, again OK)
Finally, we may start reducing the number of visitors per day. This will be especially important once Branko wakes up. Please bear with Kay (0208 838 0387) as she manages the rota.
BVNews 20:15, 26 August: 11 - lowest ICP yet
I spoke to Mr. Ellamushi, the surgeon who operated on Branko. He is happy with Branko's progress, although his condition is still critical. As you know, they will assess the situation again tomorrow to see if Branko's medication can be reduced. Branko's brain pressure went down as far as 11 this afternoon (0--10 is normal).
May the Force be with him,
BVNews 14:50, 26 August: ICP back down to around 16; still waiting to
see the Neurosurgeon; Mother just arrived at the hospital
ICP has stabilised since the last report, but Nena was unable to get hold of the Neurosurgeon. She is still hopeful he will see them today.
Savka. Branko’s mother, arrived in London safely and is just about to go to the ward to see him.
BVNews, 26th August, 11:30: blood pressure support reduced drastically,
ICP up to 25-27, he'll be kept asleep for another day
All, Medical Report Branko’s heart is now pumping blood around the body almost unaided. The level on Noradrenaline (which assists his heart) has been reduced from 15-19 ml/hr yesterday to 1 ml/hr today and the ABP (blood pressure) is in the region of 150/65, which is excellent news - Branko’s has a strong heart.
The ICP (brain pressure) is up in the 25-27 area. Whether this is connected with the fact that his heart is taking over or not, I could not tell, but at any rate, Mr. Ellamushi, the Neurosurgeon who operated on Branko, decided NOT to wake Branko up today, but instead to reassess the situation tomorrow. Consequently, the level of sedation remains as yesterday.
As we speak, Nena, Branko’s sister, is trying to get some time with Mr Ellamushi, so, hopefully, we will have a more detailed medical update later in the day.
Nena contacted Police this morning and found out that at the time of the accident, the bus that Branko was travelling in was stuck in the queue of traffic. For reasons unknown to us yet, Branko pulled the emergency break, the emergency doors opened and he then got out of the bus. Then the motorbike hit him.
The motorbike rider is in hospital as well. He’s got a broken collar bone and possibly other injuries. Police are in possession of the motorbike.
Police may contact Finsoft at some stage. Please refer any such calls to Kay or me.
BVNews, 25 August, 21:10: ICP at 13-17, first attempt at reducing drugs
ICP (previously Brain Pressure): 13-17 (lowest so far!)
HR: 71-75 ABP: 125/60 to 135/65 (low, but see later)
CVP (Central Venous Pressure): 11-16 (indicates levels of internal fluids, OK)
SPO2: 99-100% (perfect)
Respiration: 14 (don’t know the meaning of this, but am told it is OK)
ESCO2: 3.1 - 3.2 (quantity of CO2 he exhales, again OK)
The blood pressure was low because the doctors attempted to reduce the level of Noradrenaline which stimulates the heart. The drop in the blood pressure indicated Branko’s organism is still not ready to start taking over so the Noradrenaline level was restored and the pressure returned to the previous value.
The nurse on duty was new, so she had some difficulties getting the pupils reading, but a more experienced nurse later confirmed that the left eye definitely reacts and the right eye to a lesser degree, but that was normal for him.
In summary, Branko’s organism is fighting on and we seem to have some signs that it is getting ready to take over from the machines.
Other news Savka, Brako’s mother is arriving to London tomorrow (Tuesday).
As Tuesday is the first day after the August Bank Holiday in UK, we should have a more detailed assessment tomorrow from the team that operated on Branko. Also, we should get more information from the Police about the circumstances of the accident.
BVNews, 25 August, 18:10: ICP at 18-20, busy day with visitors
It’s been a busy day at the hospital with quite a crowd of friends and relatives.
Branko’s condition continues to be stable, with small improvements and, as we can tell, no new negative developments.
Of the main readings, the brain pressure has been between 16 and 20 for most of the day. This is good (30 and over are bad), but still not enough for the doctors to start weaning him off some drugs. At around 11 AM today, a doctor told us that this crucial reading must be below 10 for them to start the process of transferring some of the vital functions to his body. On this basis, the doctors decided to continue the present therapy and reassess the situation tomorrow
His swelling is subsiding. The skin on his arms, previously very taut, is starting to look more relaxed. The bruises on his head and around his eyes are beginning to mature and he is regularly perspirating - all encouraging signs.
We saw some reflex movements today, a nurse reported that he is coughing and he even got a shave (there are easier ways to get a shave in London, though).
We had a bit of tuition from a professional nurse friend who explained the main readings that should be monitored. Here is what they were at 6PM:
Brain Pressure (BP): 18-20 (need it below 10)
Heart Rate (HR): 70-75 (normal is 65-100)
Arterial Blood Pressure (ABP): 135-170/60-70 (slightly higher than normal, but this is ok after the operation)
Percentage of oxygen absorbed by the blood (SPO2): 99.9% (100% is ideal, as he is on a respirator)
Overall, the fact that there are no new complications is positive, however Branko is still very ill and no one can reliably predict anything.
I will send another report later on in the evening.
Again, thank you all for your messages of encouragements and support. They are all conveyed to Branko and are much appreciated by his family.
BVNews, 25 August, 12:15: Branko coughs
All, Lastest News I have recieved at 12.15 is as follows:-
Branko is stable this morning . His Brain pressure needs to come down further before they start to wean him off drugs. Therefore therapy is unchanged for now.
Good News is that the swelling is starting to come down. His pupils are reacting to light and the nurse said he coughed.
BVNews, 24 August, 21:20: Pupils react to light
Today went as well as it can under the circumstances. All the readings seem OK. He's had a bit of a temperature, but that came under control quickly. His pupils are reacting to light, which is a good sign, but we shouldn't read too much into it.
On practical note (and for those in London), Smiljka will be organizing a rota for those who wish to visit. Please contact her in the first instance.
Thank you all for your concern, kind words and support.
BVNews, 23 August, Branko hit by a motorbike, critical
All, Last Thursday night Branko Vukojevic was hit by a motorbike as he was disembarking a bus in North London. He suffered serious head injuries and has had two brain operations to remove a blod clot and reduce the brain pressure. He sustained other injuries too - two broken ribs, cuts and bruises.
His condition is critical and doctors judge his chances of survival as 'slim'. A battery of machinery and drugs are keeping him alive and so far his fight for survival has been 'impressive'.
Branko is heavily sedated so that doctors can help his organism revive the critical functions. The next 48 hours are crucial.
His relatives and most of his friends have been notified. Visitors are allowed (two at a time between 11AM and 9PM).
If you would like to be kept up to date about Branko's condition, please reply to this e-mail. Also, please include addresses of any friends outside Finsoft.
Praying Branko pulls through,