Over the past few months there has been a remarkable outpouring of love, concern, prayer and questions for our family with regard to Spike’s medical condition (or Micah as many of you know him).
In short, Spike began to lose hearing in his left ear back in September of 2016. After a misdiagnosis followed by a number of tests, that still provided little insight into the problem, an MRI of Spike’s head revealed that he has a tumor called an Acoustic Neuroma. This type of tumor is considered to be rare with only 1 in 100,000 people being diagnosed.
While the news of this was initially jolting we were relieved to learn that based upon past cases there is a slim, 1% chance, that the tumor will be malignant. Because of its location a biopsy is not an option. Given Spike’s age, the large size of the tumor (slightly smaller than a golf ball) and the fact that it is continuing to grow, the only option is to extract the tumor. While his hearing is in his left ear is nearly a complete loss there are other areas of his brain that the tumor can impact such as his balance and facial movement. His balance has been affected; however, we are grateful that his facial expressions have not. He will have moments of “instability” at times when walking or managing steps yet for the most part we feel fortunate about where his level of function currently is.
Upon learning of the tumor our priorities became two-fold: 1) Get it out as quickly as possible 2) Have one of the most accomplished experts on this type of tumor and procedure perform the surgery. We have been so blessed and are happy to report that our prayers were quickly answered on both fronts. We learned that just down the road at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is a world-renowned surgeon and while this tumor is rare, he has actually performed thousands of these procedures on people from all over the world. God then intervened again as we originally learned that we would have to wait a number of months to be seen, yet through the assistance of a close friend we were able to get in within a matter of days. The level of care that we have received thus far from the U of I Hospitals and Clinics as well as our surgeon, Dr. Bruce Gantz, has been nothing short of exceptional.
Spike’s surgery is set for June 15th in Iowa City. The surgery is a very delicate one and it will take about 7 hours to remove the tumor. As we understand it, Spike will then be in intensive care for the next day or so and then transferred to a standard floor for approximately 5 days. His release will be dependent upon his ability to walk unassisted, without balance issues, as well as any signs of complication from the surgery. The potential for complications are higher than we would like and could even take days or weeks to manifest themselves yet we know that God is in control.
In terms of Spike's overall recovery, we are told 4-6 weeks before he can be fully functional, dependent upon a number of circumstances. Of course, he has a more expeditious timeline in mind yet we will be making sure rest is a priority.
Many of you have asked what you can do to help and right now, we ask for the following:
-Prayers!!!!! We know the power of prayer and have felt them already. Specifically, we ask that you pray for the surgeons and medical staff that will be operating on Spike.
-Pray for Spike, that his body recovers quickly with no complications.
-Pray for strength for our family.
We are blessed to have all of you in our lives and are forever grateful for the prayers and support. We will be using this site as a way to keep everyone posted on any updates.