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Ann’s story: If they only would have let her had an MRI.

Published on May 12, 2015 in Share Your Story

Ann's tumor

Ann’s story: If they only would have let her have an MRI

Warren and Deb Thomas, May 2014

Our beautiful daughter, Ann Thomas, age 25 had a headache. She went to the Dr. and the Dr. prescribed a MRI. Her insurance company DENIED it. Over the next 6 months the pain in her head continued to get worse.

Finally, September 15, 2014 she started seeing double and becoming blurry. She went to her optomitrist. Immediately, he sent her to the ER and got a MRI. (something that the insurance refused 6 months before)

Immediately, they admitted her into ICU with a brain tumor. 3 inches by 2 inches. Within days she was on her way to the operatng room.

Surgery 1. they had to repair her brain. It is called an ARNOLD CHIALIS MALFORMATION, where the brain is pushed out through the skull and down to the spine, because of the size of the tumor, the brain had no where to go, so it found a hole in her skull and proceeded to leave her skull. The Dr. put her brains back where they belonged. Over the next week, a decision had to made as to where she was going to have her TUMOR removed.

Surgery 2. A drain was put into the top of her skull to prevent the brain fluid from building up inside her skull. Ann knew that her surgery was life threatening, so she decided to call the red cross to get her Sister and Brother in law back from over seas. The next step was to have her life flighted to Allegheny General in Pittsburgh, PA.


Within 72 hours of Annie being Lifeflighted from Erie, PA to Pittsburgh, PA her sister and brother in law was at her side at the Hospital. The next step was to immediately operate and remove the tumor.

Surgery 3. The tumor Germinoma, was removed in a 10 hour surgery. It was a success. Now the wait, did she have cancer or no cancer. The cancer Dr. came in to talk to her about what her next steps could possibly be. But, thankfully she is cancer FREE.

She got the second worst case of Meningitis the hospital had ever seen. Lost her hearing in right ear. She also got a viral infection of her colon. Called C. diff.

Because she got meningitis she has to have a third surgery on the site of her tumor. The meningitis had taken her hearing a way. And the C. diff is painful her heart rate went out of control. They had to insert a temporary bag in her colon. 4 drains in her head. One in her back. 3 spinal taps. 4 surgeries on the site of her tumor. After 12 surgeries her eyesight was still double and will be for years. Since she had so many surgeries that they had to put the tube down her throat her voice box was and still is at the top of her throat.

Finally after 6 weeks Ann was able to go to Erie PA to a rehabilitation. There she would stay for 3 weeks. Then transferred to the rehab at the hospital to learn how to use her arms legs throat. Because she got 3 blood clots she had to have a IVC filter inserted. Ann came home before Christmas. Wheel chair bound. Limited use of her arms and legs. Has an eye patch on one eye. Thank you for at least taking the time to read our story.

Her Mom

Update: I have built a walker ramp, built special for walkers, couldn’t get help from any one, the therapist gave up on her after 3 weeks of her being home. They said that I was doing more for her than they could and thus there was no reason for them to be around. I have built parallel bars in our living room to help her walk. Hand rails are up every where throughout the house. If I learned one thing it is that Ann and I can do anything as long as we are doing it smiling and joking and doing it out of love.

As of May 6, 2015, Ann is slowly getting better still can’t stand on her own, can’t write, yet. Still seeing double vision, (surgery possible within 6 months ) she has a good outlook, always smiling. And I love her soo much for putting up the fight that she is trying her best to win.

Opinions expressed within this story belong solely to the author and do not reflect the views or opinions of the National Brain Tumor Society.

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