Buying a Raffle ticket benefits our patients
Health & Wealth Raffle tickets support the amazing work of Barrow Neurological Institute and St. Joseph's Hospital, so people like Erik, Micah, Cristin, Cat and Guadalupe have a better chance at a long and healthy life.
Erik Humphrey, 32, was in the middle of a DIY house remodel when he kept dropping things in his left hand. Blaming his clumsiness on over exhaustion, Erik didn’t consider that something could be wrong, until the problem persisted for several weeks.
As a precaution, Erik’s doctor ordered an MRI. The results showed a brain tumor in the right side of Erik’s brain. When a biopsy showed that the tumor was malignant, Erik turned to Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital for help.
Given a 20 percent chance of beating the tumor, Erik agreed to participate in a trial of a new aggressive treatment plan, which was being conducted by Barrow neurosurgeon Kris Smith, MD. Amazingly, after the last round of treatment, Erik underwent an MRI, and there were no signs of tumor on the scan.
Seven event-filled years have passed since then, and Erik is thriving and thankful to Barrow and St. Joseph’s for saving his life. He and his wife have since started a family and now have a five-year-old daughter and two-year-old twin boys.
At two years old, Micah Andrews was nearly decapitated in a car crash. The family car had been t-boned on Micah’s side, and the impact jolted his head sideways so forcefully that his skull separated from his spine.
This is a condition that typically results in paralysis or death, but Barrow neurosurgeon Nicholas Theodore, MD, and his medical team successfully operated on Micah, placing a titanium loop between the base of the skull and spine to reconnect them.
Micah made an amazing recovery and was released from the hospital 60 days later. With the help of speech, occupational and physical therapy, Micah has made a full recovery.
Guadalupe Castillo was pregnant with her third baby when her arm began to ache and she began to limp. Carpal tunnel syndrome, her ob/gyn said about the arm. Arthritis, another doctor said about the legs. Both should resolve after she gave birth, they told her.
But months after baby Veronica was born, the problems hadn’t gone away. In fact, they had gotten worse. Eventually, Castillo, who was 36, had an MRI. Before Castillo and her husband had even reached the parking lot to go home, the doctor called: “You have some kind of cancer in your neck.”
Fast-forward to April 2011 at St. Joseph’s Hospital, where Castillo had given birth to her children and where she was now undergoing surgery to remove what appeared to be an aggressive cancer that was threatening her life. The tumor had wrapped itself around several nerves of her right arm, was eating away her cervical vertebrae, and was encasing the vertebral artery, which supplies blood to the back of the brain. At one point in her ordeal, Castillo awoke and realized she could not move her right arm or either of her legs.
Dr. Curtis Dickman, an expert in spinal neurosurgery at Barrow Neurological Institute, performed emergency surgery, the first of three operations that each took six to eight hours. Over the next few days, Dr. Dickman and his team meticulously peeled the tumor off of Castillo’s nerves, bones and spinal cord. They also rebuilt the damaged vertebrae of her neck, stabilized the spine with screws, rods, and plates, and fused the vertebrae using bone grafts from her pelvis. The entire tumor, which turned out to be a benign vascular tumor called a cavernous malformation, was removed and Castillo has regained nearly complete use of her arms and legs.