Monday, March 15, 2010

COUNTDOWN TO PHOENIX


Our son, Jim, called on Sunday to let us know that Ryan Westmoreland, a 19-year-old outfielder for the Boston Red Sox minors (and considered to be one of their best prospects), is scheduled to undergo brain surgery March 16 for an unusual congenital condition that carries significant risk of neurological damage and is potentially life-threatening.  After the Red Sox flew him around the country for consultations with three specialists, the decision was made to have surgery, which is to be performed by Dr. Robert Spetzler of  Barrow Neurosurgical Associates  in Phoenix, Ariz.  We were all heartened to hear that someone who could go anywhere in the world for treatment chose the same place that Jim is going to. Jim is having dreams about surgery: visions of doctors going into his brain with saws and saying that they have to go back in and do it again. Perfectly normal. He's actually handling it all quite well.

Ryan's condition, it should be noted, is different from Jim's.  Jim has a fusiform aneurysm, which means that the entire right branch of the main artery in the back of his head is widening.  A fusiform aneurysm is one of the most difficult to treat, and Jim's aneurysm is in a very sensitive part of his brain.  The neurosurgeon in San Diego told Jim his condition was untreatable and inoperable, since the artery is necessary.  Cutting it off would kill him.  Thankfully, Barrow has two options available for treatment and the method will be determined by a test that will be performed on Wednesday.

Guy left today and will meet up with Jim at the Phoenix airport.  They'll share a room tonight and tomorrow night before I arrive.  I'll fly to Phoenix on Wednesday. Guy brought the laptop with him, so I'll try to provide updates daily, if possible. (Tuesday night, I'll be one of the judges at a "Culinary Combat" event -- the main event at the annual Taste of Coastal Carolina, hosted by the Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation.  There will be about 1,000 people in attendance and TV10, our local cable station, will be televising.  It should be fun, and I'm looking forward to it.  Last week, Larry Baldwin, the Neuse Riverkeeper and I were interviewed on the Phil Knight Show, a local talk show on Cable 10 TV and local radio.  Phil Knight was one of the judges last year.)  
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12 comments:

George Gaston said...

Judy, my continued thoughts & prayers for Jim. Sounds like he is in terrific hands with Dr. Spetzler.

Save travels to AZ and I'll be thinking of you.

Linda said...

Judy... you know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family .... for save travels and Jim's surgery and recovery.

PeggyR said...

Our prayers continue for your son and you as well! Hope your travels run smooth and everything there goes well.

Kim said...

It sounds like your son has a world-class doctor. I will continue to pray and send you all the best. Safe travels.

A Year on the Grill said...

Our prayers for everyone will continue...

There is a plan in all this somewhere

biz319 said...

It sounds like he is in the best hands Judy!! Best wishes!

Coleen's Recipes said...

Be Strong for your family Judy and know that we are all praying for you, hang in there.

Barbara Bakes said...

I hope the test goes well. God bless!

Gladys said...

My prayers are with Jim and your family. I pray God's healing in the surgery that will be chosen to bring Jim back to his health.

Lynda said...

My thoughts and prayers are still with you and Jim. Safe travels Judy.

Katy ~ said...

He remains in my prayers.

Hugs.

Sophie said...

I will be thinking of you & your son!!

Have a lot of courage!