For the past few years my brother has been dealing with some crazy symptoms. The symptoms were spaced out over time and not really put together as a cause from one source until now.
He had been struggling with neck pain and headaches for the past few years and had seen the doctor a few times trying to get some answers. They were kind of thinking it stemmed from stiff neck due to arthritis and his labor intensive job.
Within the next couple years he began to develope some hearing loss in his right ear and a very annoying “ringing” that is always constant. Again, he went to the doctor and it was kind of blown off as maybe some damage from him clay bird shooting, since he did have a gun go off pretty close to his ear right around the time of his symptoms starting.
Sadly these symptoms over time were just starting to magnify, especially the headaches and neck pain. They grew to be unbearable to point of my brother going in and explaining to the doctor that he just couldn’t live this way any longer.
After some physical therapy and other exercises to try and help the pain.. Nothing seemed to be working...
His neck pain, and headaches were getting worse, and now a new symptom.. numbing of his face. His temple, gums and the inside of his mouth, and cheekbones were going numb along with facial twitching.
After the new symptoms the doctor then scheduled an MRI of his neck, we were thinking maybe a pinched nerve.
All of this happened right before thanksgiving. The doctors office called my brother in to read his results. Completely unexpected, and not at all what we thought.... we were given the worse news we could imagine.
They had caught a glimpse of a very large brain mass on the MRI of his neck pressing against his brain stem. The Doctor explained that the area of the tumor controlled everything he was experiencing with his symptoms including the hearing loss he had lost over a year ago.
Less than a week later he was brought in for a full brain MRI to capture the complete mass.
Type of brain tumor:
He was then diagnosed with a cerebellapontine angle tumor (vestibular Schwannoma).
(A noncancerous tumor on the main nerve leading from the inner ear to the brain.
A vestibular schwannoma usually grows slowly or not at all. However, in a few cases, it may grow rapidly and become large enough to press against the brain and interfere with vital functions.)
A lot of these tumors can be monitored and treated with radiation. However, this is not the case with Brian’s tumor.
Unfortunately it has already grown to large to be treated without sugerical removal.
Although these tumors are mostly benign and treatable, the surgical approach is quite a challenge in treating the tumor. His tumor is touching some pretty important areas and very sensitive nerves.
It has completely taken over his ear nerves causing total hearing loss in his right ear and has already started effecting his facial nerves. The surgeon is giving him a 30-40% chance of facial paralysis. Although we are praying hard for that not to be the case, we have to try and prepare for whatever comes our way. If he does end up with facial paralysis, an extended hospital stay will be needed for him to get the proper care and physical therapy/rehab he will need.
Brian’s scheduled surgery date is Thursday January 28th at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.
What we are raising funds for:
We are raising funds to help Brian and his family through this difficult time. As all of you know, medical expenses are not cheap. Although Brian’s surgeon accepts his insurance, the hospital where the surgery will be performed, does not. The money will be used for surgery expenses and the expenses of traveling to and from St. Louis. Food, gas, hotel stay, etc. I know with the love an support of our community, we could easily help by donating just $5-$10. Anything would help and all support would be greatly appreciated!
You can also mail in donations to:
P.O. Box 674
De Soto, IL 62924
Asking for prayer:
Brian, Mel, and the entire family mainly just ask for your prayers. Prayers of comfort, peace, and total restoration after surgery .
"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there among them" Matthew 18:20
- Deb Umgelder
- Kathy Nicol
- Robert Kupferer
- Cassie McBride
- Shawn O'Donoghue
Organizer and beneficiary
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