Being a working woman with two jobs at Frontier Central School District, and assisting my husband, Dennis George “The Quizmaster”, has kept me very busy. I loved both jobs, but in July of that year I was having what I thought were sinus symptoms. Medicine didn’t help at all, so my doctor ordered an MRI. I was diagnosed with a large brain tumor. From there, I was referred to a great neurosurgeon.
This tumor had to be removed in a rather FAST fashion. On the day of surgery, I walked in there with a smile, knowing that I had a team of people praying for me, and wishing me well. It lasted seven hours and was performed by Buffalo Neurosurgery Group at Mercy Hospital – their expertise is truly unmatched.
Things seemed good, but I suffered a stroke sometime after surgery and had pneumonia plus brain swelling. Things were not looking good for me at all. My husband was by my side every day. Somehow, slowly, I started to get better. The pneumonia went away, as did the brain swelling. The stroke affected my right side including my eye, arm and leg. I went to the 4th floor stroke unit for four more weeks then went to the 6th floor rehab at Mercy to work on rehabbing my leg for an additional month.
My memory was impacted, as I had to re-learn people’s names and simple pictures…but I did it and worked very hard. I was moved to Elderwood Home in Hamburg for more physical therapy and I continued to improve physically and mentally. Then, four days before Christmas, I was finally released to come home. What a Christmas present it was to be home again with my family!
It wasn’t easy – I had months of OT and PT and went to vision therapy to help strengthen my eye. During this time, I had cataract surgery for both of my eyes.
Then…if it couldn’t have been worse, I needed an additional surgery to repair a hole in my eye. Can you imagine having your head in a down position for 22 out of 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so the hole would seal properly. That’s what I had to go through and it did seal, but I still experienced vision loss. Thank God – the Almighty has been with me through this entire journey.
Here I am, five years later, brain tumor surgery, countless PT, OT and vision therapies, and I am so happy and thankful to be here!
On January 2nd of 2019, I was sitting at the kitchen table on my chrome book, and I felt a flutter – suddenly my right eye, which had the intense issues, had opened up and my vision was back! I couldn’t believe it – I was stunned. I began to cry…uncontrollably. My peripheral vision opened up. My husband came back from the store and saw my excitement / emotion and was so surprised, too.
God is SO GOOD.
My eye doctor was in shock because he said vision does not come back five years after suffering a stroke and experiencing all that I had been through. But my vision did come back, and I am so thankful. It has not changed…it still remains the same. I continue to work very hard and I always will. I am very grateful to have my husband by my side - he is such a wonderful man and he helps me through anything!
I want to thank the surgeons, the staff including the doctors, nurses and aides, who gave me such great care at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo. I want to thank all the therapists who worked with me and the ones who continue to work with me. I could not have made it through this ordeal without the love and help from my beautiful family and friends!
Most of all I want to thank God for being there to help me through this. He has given me strength, and helped me stay very positive. I could have never done this without you, Lord Jesus. I will always stay positive and keep a smile on my face…for I am very thankful to be alive and tell my story.
We thank Susan Zubler Lalka and Dennis George for putting together this inspiring story to share with others that you should never lose HOPE, even in the darkest days!