Madeline Fitzgerald Maddie Fitzgerald

First post: Sep 7, 2021 Latest post: Nov 22, 2021
Welcome to Maddie's CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place.

Please note that these journal entries will not have EVERY small detail in regards Maddie's journey, but will give you a general update as to what's happened over the months if you are just finding out about her illness or haven't spoken to her at length over this time. As many of you know, my mom is very private in regards to many things, so I'm honoring her by not putting every detail here for folks to read. I believe the updates I'm making should give everyone the information they need to stay informed and up to date as much as possible during this difficult time. And as always, she enjoys phone calls and chatting with folks when she has the energy!

If you don't have her cell number, please email Kathy at We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. As an aside, when you register on CaringBridge, CaringBridge may send a message stating that "tributes" are being matched. Just to clarify, tributes do not go to the person you are following. It is a way for the company to have an income to continue to offer this service for families at no cost. If you are following anyone's story and want to get something to them, a tribute is not the way. Having said that, I've found this site a wonderful way to keep in touch and I support CaringBridge wholeheartedly. Thank you for visiting and sending your love and encouragement our way. And please keep reading for how all this started. Journal entries will give additional info as I get it.
All my best,   Kathy, Madeline's Daughter __________________________________________________________ Late in the evening, September 30, 2020, Maddie got into a car accident where she went off the road in her truck about 40 miles from her home in Grapevine, TX. Luckily no one was involved, and Maddie was not injured, but officers on scene called paramedics due to her running off the road, the time of night and she also seemed confused. Paramedics checked her out on scene and she did not have a concussion, but she was still confused and speaking oddly so one of Maddie’s best friends was called to pick her up. She was brought back to her friend’s home and stayed the night.

After only a few hours, Maddie was awake and acting not herself so Marge decided to bring her into Baylor Hospital in Grapevine for further testing. Kathy, Maddie’s daughter, was called by Maddie’s sister, Mary, October 1, 2020. Maddie had been admitted that morning and they were doing a bunch of tests to determine why the accident occurred and why she was acting strangely. Maddie is not one for doctors or hospitals and she did not want to be there, but she was able to get all the tests she needed while there a few days. Kathy talked to her mom that day as well to find out what had happened the day before, but Maddie didn’t remember much.

At this point, we were all just waiting for some sort of result to determine the next plan of action. Kathy also connected with Maddie’s doctor and nurses to get additional information to pass along to friends and family. After a couple days and many tests, it was determined by an MRI that Maddie had encephalitis as Maddie had some swelling and continued confusion. As she calmed down more, ate a bit and her levels became normal, Maddie was able to focus and make a bit more sense of what was going on, but overall, she felt physically OK and wanted to leave the hospital.

Because that MRI was inconclusive, the next day there was a second, deeper MRI to determine an additional diagnosis. The following day, her doctor stated to Kathy that it looked like glioblastoma and a biopsy needed to be scheduled. This obviously brought shock and confusion about what to do, but things had to continue to move forward to find a solid answer.

After getting all the pertinent info, Kathy then traveled to DFW from MN to assist with care, get the biopsy scheduled and be there when she got out of surgery. As you can imagine, this was stressful for all involved (near and far) as so many things can happen with any brain surgery. However, due to the fine doctors and Maddie’s extraordinary neurosurgeon at Baylor Grapevine, she got through the surgery just fine with minimal issues.

After a few days, it was determined, however, that she had a glioblastoma, which is a fast-growing brain tumor. There is no cure for this type of tumor, but certain treatments can usually extend the patient’s life. Getting the diagnosis was difficult as Maddie is extremely healthy and has no underlying health issues, but due to the fast-growing nature of this tumor, decisions needed to be made quickly. It was tough for Maddie to make these choices, as it probably would be for anyone. She relied on Kathy, her sister, other family members and friends to get advice and determine next steps. The easiest next thing to do here was to meet with an oncologist to determine what Maddie’s options were in regards treatment. So an appointment was scheduled for November 2020. Kathy headed back to MN but would be back to DFW again in November to accompany Maddie to this very important appointment.