Darrell Hillson | CaringBridge

Darrell Hillson

First post: Jan 23, 2018 Latest post: Jul 11, 2018
On 12/30/17, I woke up to Darrell having a seizure at 1 am.  To say that this was the moment that changed our lives is an understatement.  All I can say is that God was truly at work in the midst of this situation.  7 years prior to this my mother woke up to my father having a seizure.  The way she described what occurred is what helped me to know what was happening and also it helped me to know what to do.   While my dad's MRI and CT scans didn't give any explanation of why he had a seizure, that was not the case in our situation.  The seizure lasted for about 5 minutes and Darrell  was unresponsive for 20-25 minutes.  These were the scariest 20+ minutes of my life.

I can honestly say that as the ambulance and fire truck arrived and we traveled to the hospital I was certain that they would do some tests and everything would be fine and they would say that they didn't  know what caused the seizure.  However, when the results of the CT scan came back and the doctor said that they saw swelling on the right frontal lobe and it looked like there was a mass I was shocked.  An indescribable feeling washed over me.  Between the CT scan and when they did the MRI, we were surrounded by family and friends who prayed with us, for us, and encouraged us.  Through it all Darrell never wavered and reassured me that God was in control and that it was all going to be ok.   By midday Darrell had an MRI.  The results confirmed that there was in fact a mass on his right frontal lobe.  The Neurosurgeon gave us 2 choices, either wait and see and observe for 3 months or have surgery.  He also told us that the location of the mass was in a good location, close to the skull, and easy to access.  The way the mass looked on the MRI, to me it was so well defined that to me it looked like something Darrell drew.  The way the surgeon described it, because it was well defined it did not look like it would be a complicated, case in terms of removing the mass.   We opted for surgery as soon as possible.  

Darrell was released from the hospital in the afternoon on 12/31.  Over the next week we met with the surgeon again on 1/4,  and Darrell had a functional MRI on 1/3 to determine which side of the brain speech is formed.  This was a concern because Darrell is left handed.  We received good news at the appointment with the Neurosurgeon that his speech was formed all on the left side, so it would not be effected by the surgery.  Next we had to wait for approval from the insurance company for the surgery.  This may seem like a surgery that would clearly be approved as soon as it was requested, but we were told that it is not uncommon for the insurance company to decline the surgery when it is first requested.  We got our prayer warriors on it, and it wasn't a surprise on 1/8 when we found out that it was approved.  Thanks to everyone who has been praying with and for us throughout this situation.

On 1/7,  Darrell chose to share his situation with our church family and the whole church prayed for our family.   Darrell is typically a very private person, but he felt like God wanted him to share this experience with others because this was not just for him to go through, but for other people to see God at work in this situation.  We have seen God working in our family, friends, co-workers, and people we don't even know as we have received prayers and support that we could never imagined.  Darrell feels very strongly about the fact that he wants us to share our testimony with others throughout this journey.


On 1/11 Darrell had surgery.  It was projected to last a little over 2 hours.  It actually lasted closer to 4 1/2 hours.  The support we received that day,  both at my home with friends who spent time with my parents and took food to my home, and at the hospital with friends and family who sat with us throughout the day is something we appreciated more than we could ever express.  The surgeon came out to speak with us and told us that the surgery was more complicated than expected and they had run into a complication during the surgery.    However he felt pretty confident that he was able to remove at least 90% of the tumor if not all of it.  We are now waiting on results of the pathology report.   Depending on the results it will determine the treatment plan, which could include chemo and radiation.

We ask for continued prayers for strength and patience as we wait to see what God has in store for us.  We know that this is just the beginning.  

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