On November 10, 2017, after months of dealing with headaches and worsening symptoms, Hilary was taken to a hospital in Miami where an MRI discovered a massive tumor on her brain. A tumor so large it had pushed the whole right hemisphere of her brain over to the left side creating significant “mid-line shift.” Shifting in the brain caused her to experience a rapid onset of symptoms and within a day of being hospitalized she was nearly completely paralyzed on the left side of her body.
Hilary was then transported from Miami to Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville to receive the best care possible as quickly as possible. November 12, 2017 Surgeons performed the operation and were able to completely resect the tumor after nearly 6 hours of surgery. After biopsy it was diagnosed as a cavernous vascular malformation, or a collection of blood vessels that accumulate over a long period of time. Further pathology reports cemented this diagnosis and it was deemed benign and non-cancerous.
After Hilary was released from Mayo, she was taken to Brooks Rehabilitation Center to undergo speech and physical therapy. After one week it was agreed upon that she could continue her recovery elsewhere but in close proximity to a major Hospital. She was released from Rehab and sent home for thanksgiving to continue her recovery.
Less than two weeks after her first surgery Hilary awoke in the middle of the night and began to have a seizure. She was then rushed to Shands Hospital in Gainesville, FL in an ambulance. Radiologist at Shands then discovered a major hemorrhage on her brain in the area of the surgery. She had to undergo immediate emergency surgery once again. After a successful second surgery Hilary now had to begin her recovery all over again. Hilary stayed in North FL from November to January with Ray Vaughn her boyfriend who has been by her side the entire time. Further scans at Mayo Clinic in Mid-January showed blood products still on Hilary’s brain, which could indicate further complications but doctors are optimistic it is residual from surgery and should reabsorb overtime. A scan in March will tell doctors more about how she is progressing.
Hilary and Ray are now back home in the Keys and Hilary continues to get stronger every day, although she has strict instructions by doctors orders of no driving or working for 6 months. The medical bills are now coming in and you can only imagine how overwhelming this is for a young couple recovering from such a traumatic event. I am asking for your help to raise money to contribute to the stacks of medical bills from two brain surgeries as well as rehab and not to mention the ambulance ride from Miami to Jacksonville. Every donation helps, no matter how big or small the amount.
Anyone who knows Hilary and Ray, knows they would give you the shirt off their backs and help you in any way they could, so now it is our turn to show them how much we care and how much they mean to us!!
Lastly, please continue to keep Hilary in your thoughts and prayers as she continues to heal in the months ahead. She is truly an inspiration to us all and is nothing short of a miracle! Hilary’s friends and family call her a “beautiful soul” which describes her perfectly. She is such a beautiful soul and has proven this through the good times and bad. I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart for your help in this matter.
- Helen and Juliana Brandenburg
- Craig Lindsey
- Marianna & Bob Richardson
- Robert Alexander
- Yaneris Collins
Organizer and beneficiary
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