Early Wednesday morning on September 5, Neil woke up and went to the gym before heading on to work. At 38 years old, Neil is strong and healthy. He felt completely normal that morning. On his way to his first HVAC appointment, he began to feel an odd sensation on the right side of his body. It was as if his whole right side was going numb and he had no control of his movements. He debated whether to try and go on, but it scared him enough to call his wife, Sandy. He told her he didn’t feel right and wasn’t able to drive. She quickly made the trip to pick him up and they immediately went to the emergency room.
Once there, they did a CT scan, EKG, and an MRI. Within a few minutes from coming back to the room from the MRI, Neil had a seizure. He had no history of seizures and the nurses were not in the room. Sandy ran out of the room to find a nurse. As soon as he was stable and the seizure had ended, they began to ask him questions. He was alert and able to answer correctly. They gave him anti-seizure medication to prevent further seizures. The EKG came back clear, however, the CT scan and MRI showed lesions on the brain. The hospital did not have the correct neurosurgeons at their facility, so they transferred him, by ambulance, to North East Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, GA. They were admitted to a room and waited to see the neurosurgeon.
On Thursday morning, the neurosurgeon came with the results of the MRI. She said it looked like 2 small masses on the left side of his brain. The neurosurgeon scheduled Neil for a brain biopsy. That evening, she performed the brain biopsy.
In pre-op, Neil expressed his concern to his wife. He feared the worst. His wife and family waited to hear news from the neurosurgeon.
In an unusually short amount of time, they received the diagnosis. There were not two masses, but one mass. She predicted it was stage 3 or 4 high grade glioma. She stressed it was aggressive. This news was not encouraging. After surgery, she met to inform the family of what to expect and possible steps forward. The outcome was bleak. The cancerous mass was touching the thalamus (the part of the brain that controls consciousness and sleep). Therefore, an operation to remove the tumor was not an option. The prognosis was not good. They released him from ICU to rest at home until the final results of the biopsy came in.
A couple days later they received the news that it was actually an aggressive stage 3 high grade glioma. The neurosurgeon explained that stage 3 responds much better to treatment then stage 4. Neil begins 6 weeks of radiation and chemo. He will go 5 days a week for radiation and chemo administered by mouth.
GOD, OUR CHAMPION
Our hearts are reeling. We are trusting in our great God, who spoke the world into existence with a word, to speak healing into Neil’s brain. Psalm 107:20 He sent out his word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death.
Neil’s faith is strong, his mind is ready for the challenge, and his body is in good shape. He has a loving wife who is constantly by his side. He has two precious children Bryson 11 years old and Ansley 8 years old. He said he is more worried about his wife and kids than anything else.
As you can imagine, the hospital bills are mounting up and will continue to multiply as he goes through the treatment. We would love to be able to help ease the financial burden as they carry the overwhelming weight of brain cancer.
Neil’s name means ‘champion’.
Please pray for champion Neil as he faces this challenge and by the grace of God beats brain cancer. #kneel4neil
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