Thank you for visiting our site. We appreciate your love, prayers and support more than you know. Marcus was diagnosed with multiple cerebral cavernous angiomas (cavernomas) in March of 2014. He had initially experienced some numbness which got increasingly worse. An MRI in March 2014 confirmed the presence of multiple cavernomas in his brain, including a very large one in the brainstem - 4.8 cm which occupied 85% of the brainstem area. The brainstem is a critical area of the brain where essential functions such as breathing, heart rate, balance, vision and much more are centered. It is this one that is causing his symptoms, and we were told by several neurosurgeons that it was inoperable. He experienced severe seizures in July which resulted in rhabdomyolosis and a compression fracture in his L5 vertebra. It just seemed that he was stabilizing after recovering from those things when in mid-Dec he experienced difficulty with his vision and balance, as well as worsening numbness and weakness. In late December 2014, a new neurosurgeon brought up the possibility of surgery to prevent the symptoms from getting worse. With such a large mass in a critical area, it was deemed best to attempt to remove it in stages. Marcus underwent the first of several to remove the large cavernoma in the brainstem on Jan. 16, 2015, our 28th wedding anniversary. On Jan. 20, Marcus had another surgery to put in a ventricular shunt to prevent swelling in the brain. Later that same day, he had emergency surgery for a new bleed in the cerebellum (2cm x 3 cm) as well as to address more bleeding in the brainstem. Feb. 18, 2015 Marcus had a third surgery to address the remaining malformation in the brainstem. In early March, we were informed that Marcus had perforations in both corneas and needed a bilateral corneal transplant. March 8, the same day the surgery was scheduled, Marcus experienced a cerebellar stroke. Dr. Mortazavi operated first, and then they turned him over in the OR and Dr. Helm took over to perform the transplant. Marcus has since had many, many surgeries on his eyes to try to save his vision. Nov. 18, 2015, Marcus came home. The rehab process is slow and expensive. Thank you for your love and support. We would not have made it this far without our very generous friends and loved ones. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Heaven has a special place for our angels of mercy.
FYI: Cavernomas are vascular (blood vessel) lesions where the capillary walls are thin. They form caverns like small raspberries. It is not cancer, but the lesions can expand and bleed and cause damage to nearby brain tissue. Many people have them and never have symptoms. Others have seizures or headaches. Those who have multiple cavernomas most likely have a form that is genetic. Our daughter also has multiple cavernomas and had surgery at age 2 to alleviate her seizures. Although she has several remaining cavernous angiomas, she is healthy.
For more information about cavernous malformations, check out Angioma Alliance (US): http://www.angiomaalliance.org/
or Cavernoma Alliance (UK): http://www.cavernoma.org.uk/home.html