Surviving a Deadly Brain Tumor: Success Story!
Story Dedicated to Dr. Alvin Nah Doe(JFK Medical Center)
Student Success Davis story is nothing short of a miracle. Her deteriorating health condition began back in 2014 at a very early age when Little Success was taken to a local clinic in a rural village in Liberia to receive treatment for an illness.
During the administering of this treatment, Success reportedly received an overdose of Quinine, a medication use for treating malaria and high fever. For the next five years that followed, she faced serious health complications, which eventually led to total sight loss for this little Success.
In an effort to get Success some much needed livelihood skills education and rehabilitations, she was enrolled as a student at the NATIONAL RESOURCE CENTER for the Blind during the 2019 academic year.
While enrolled at the Center for the Blind, Success health condition continued to worsen. On a hot summer day in 2020, Success suffered another health emergency and was immediately rushed by school staff to the emergency room of a local healthcare center. She wasn’t quite responding to the treatment she was receiving at this facility. We decided it would be in her best interest to move her to the John F Kennedy Medical Center for specialized care.
As a precondition for admission at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, Success had to stay in isolation and take a COVID-19 test before she could even see a doctor. The possibility of her test Covid test coming back positive was very high on our minds here at the school. This would not only mean that she wouldn’t get the care she needed but that the entire school would have to go into isolation and be cut off from the rest of the community. But we didn’t have a choice. We had to get her tested and pray that the test would come back negative. Success would later be taken away that evening in an ambulance to the Coronavirus treatment center.
Fortunately, the test did come back negative. She was tested again, and that test also came back negative. This news was the easy part for kids at the school. The hard part would be witnessing little Success get isolated from the rest of her friends who had escorted her to the hospital in the school’s vehicle. Their emotions were running high. But they had to be strong knowing that Success needed medical attention. We all had to encourage them especially Success to be strong.
The next phase was getting admission to the hospital. After months of negotiations with the administration and doctor at the JFK hospital, Success Davis was finally admitted on August 14, 2020 and immediately underwent the first surgery to extract progressive minerals from her head.
Success returned home to recover but would be admitted for the second time at the hospital on March 11, 2021. This time she would undergo a major brain surgery to operate and remove tumor from the brain.
Tackling the Financial Challenge:
The most challenging situation our Institution encountered during this journey was the fact that the parents of Success Davis were unable to foot the cost of the medical bill at the hospital. That responsibility ultimately fell on shoulders of authorities at the Center for the Blind.
We made contacts with a Catholic Sister based in the United States, Sister Lenora Talker, who became very instrumental in helping us raise the needed funds for the surgery. Out of the goodness of her heart, she would go on to appeal to The School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) Congregation based in the US, who graciously provided the funds to underwrite the cost of the surgery for Student Success Davis.
After the Congregation had further examined and discussed the health needs, the amount of USD$5000 was made available to underwrite the cost of the surgery. It is worth mentioning that the 5000.00USD excludes other associated expenses that was incurred during the surgical process. The financial grant towards this health endeavour has given us the hope that nothing is impossible with God. The Lord who began this work remained faithful throughout the process. To God be the Glory!
In Photo:Little Success After Surgery
Medical Procedure and Challenges:
Once enough funds were raised to underwrite the cost of the surgery, we met with the doctors at the John F. Kennedy Hospital in June of 2021. Dr. Alvin Nah Doe introduced us to the anaesthesiologist Dr. Musa would go on to aid him in the performance of the surgery.
During our meeting with the two doctors, we were told of the challenges of going in for such a major surgery. The doctors explained to us the roles each one of them had to play in the performance of the operation and especially the intensive care relating to the Anaesthesia during and after the surgery. Dr. doe explained that his work was to go into the brain and remove the growth as quickly as possible while the Anaesthesia’s role was to ensure safety of the patient with the ultimate object of achieving a successful outcome.
At the end of our meeting, Dr. doe expressed the need to rerun all the medical tests for Success Davis which he said was important to diagnose any new abnormally and to keep abreast of the current medical reality. The doctor also went on to instruct us procure some drugs for Success.
We closed the meeting by offering prayers for the doctors and urged them to exercise faith in the Lord reminding them that He who began this work is faithful to see it through successfully.
For the next 7 days that followed, we were frequently visiting the hospital making sure that everything she needed was provided.
Conclusion and Post Surgery Care:
In the end the surgery was a huge success. The doctors reminded us that the operation on the brain to remove the tumor from the brain stem was a very major exercise which lasted for six hours. After the surgery, Success was placed on chemotherapy with intensive medical care and routine doctor assistance. Doctors are now studying the tumor to find ways to understand its origin and prevent recurrence.
We now look to the future hoping and praying that the surgery for Success will give her a pain free life and a healthier and happier future. As stated in the beginning, this journey was nothing short of a miracle. From the raising of funds to the diagnostics and surgery itself, it is only by the grace of God that we were able to succeed and give Success another chance at a healthier life.
Many thanks to Sister Lenora Talker, the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) Congregation, Dr. Alvin Doe, Dr Musa, faculty and staff of CAB, her parents for their courage and the many others who prayed and wished Success a successful surgery.
Written by Beyan G. Kota,
National President/CEO, CAB.
(Left to Right: Mrs. Fatu Kota, Dr Alvin Doe, Dr. Musa and Mr. Beyan Kota)