This past fall was a challenging one for Dani. After being diagnosed with shingles in November, she continued to struggle with symptoms throughout the months of December and January. A couple of weeks into the new year, Dani's amazing ENT, Dr. Greg Rohn, began to wonder if we were missing an underlying condition and he ordered an MRI. We are so very grateful that God prompted him to do so! The MRI showed that Dani has a severe case of Chiari Malformation.
In Chiari Malformation, brain tissue pushes through the opening at the base of the skull into the spinal canal and presses on the brain stem, spinal cord and cervical vertebrae. The diagnosis of Chiari Malformation is made when the brain tissue descends 5 millimeters or more below the base of the skull. Dani's descends 19 millimeters! The neurosurgeons with whom we've consulted believe that this malformation has been present since birth. Dani's symptoms (severe headaches, numb/tingling hands and feet, diminished gag reflex, coughing, blurred and double vision, memory loss, etc.) have worsened over the past several weeks. To try and alleviate some of these symptoms, Dani will have decompressive craniotomy surgery on Tuesday, February 27th at Baylor Hospital in Plano. During surgery, the doctor will remove a piece of Dani's skull and her first cervical vertebra. He will put a patch in the dura (the lining of the brain) to expand it and relieve pressure allowing the cerebral spinal fluid to flow more easily. Surgery should last approximately 3-4 hours. Following surgery, Dani will spend a couple of days in the ICU and will then be moved to a regular room for a few more days.
We've experienced so many blessings in the last few weeks. Appointments with doctors that normally take weeks to schedule have happened within a week of diagnosis. Dani has had incredible support from family, friends, and her amazing Kendra Scott work family. We've been blessed by the prayers of so many across the country. We are so grateful for these many blessings!
Please join us in praying! Our specific prayers are:
*that the medical staff will have wisdom and be guided by God's hand as they operate
*that Dani will experience complete healing from the surgery
*that our faith will be strengthened through this trial
*that God will use us to bear witness of His strength, love, and faithfulness
We will provide updates on Dani's surgery and recovery on this site. We will also update as to when she will be able to have visitors.
Currently, there is no cure for Chiari Malformation, and doctors don't yet know what causes a person to begin experiencing symptoms. We've provided a link below if you want to read more about this condition or if you want to donate to an organization that supports Chiari Malformation research.
Thank you for your support and prayers! https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Chiari-Malformation-Fact-Sheet