Brian, husband to Julie, and father to Mackenzie and Maddie, has always been a vibrant, quick-witted, full of life, fun man. He knows no strangers.
In mid-January, Brian was leaving for a business trip and slipped on a patch of ice in the airport parking lot. He landed on his back, but luckily was wearing a backpack which broke his fall. Immediately after, Brian started having neck pain and thought it was from the whiplash of his neck during the fall. Two weeks passed. Brian woke up on a Saturday morning and noticed his walking gait was different. A quick trip to the Urgent Care showed scans and bloodwork were clear. The Urgent Care told Brian to call his physician to schedule an MRI. The next day, Brian's walk didn't improve, so he went to the E.R.at Missouri Baptist. After a 3-hour MRI, the radiologist misdiagnosed the results as cancer that metastasized . Brian was admitted to the hospital. Brian and Julie were devastated. Luckily, Brian's sister found information online about how cavernomas (lesions that several of his family members have) are often incorrectly diagnosed as cancer. They immediately informed Brian's nurse of this information and she consulted the doctors. After reviewing the MRI scans again, Brian was correctly diagnosed with familial cavernous malformations. They found 2 cavernous hemagiomas/lesions attached to his spinal cord at C3 and C4 near the brainstem. In order to receive the best care, Brian was transferred to Barnes where the amazing neurosurgeon, Dr. Chicoine, performed surgery. Dr. Chicoine removed 80% of the C4 lesion, but didn’t feel it was safe to operate on the C3 lesion. Unfortunately, post-surgery, the C3 lesion bled and created many challenges for Brian. He has remained in the ICU since January 29th and has since had several procedures following surgery including a pacemaker, breathing tube, tracheostomy, and feeding tube.
Currently, Julie is on a leave of absence from her teaching job to be by Brian’s side. She is Brian’s biggest cheerleader and advocate. Between the two of them, Brian and Julie have always been there for others organizing benefit trivia nights, securing silent auction donations, and emceeing the events. It is now our turn to give back to them as a family.
Brian, the ultimate life of the party, is currently immobile and can only silently mouth words to communicate. They just received word that Brian will begin rehabilitation at Craig Hospital in Denver, which specializes in helping spinal cord patients.. Any gift you can give will greatly help to defer the cost of current and future medical bills, and living expenses. Thank you all in advance, and Let’s Cover Their “Heine”!
Follow Brian's journey at: https://brianheinerecovery.blogspot.com
Add your comments on the blog and I will be sure to read them to Brian. He will love hearing from all of his supporters!
- Paula and Rodger Riney
- Larry Widmann
- Chris and Craig Lorenz
- Brian and Deanna Ellis
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