Exploding tumor

Love + prayer power + docs + determination save young woman

Woman Survives 12 pound heart tumor that exploded producing live threatening blood clots

At Cleveland Clinic 32-year-old Marianne Cook’s life was perilous. The damage to her legs from the lack of blood was obvious. “It was pretty much as bad as I have ever seen, ” said Dr. Sean Lyden, a vascular surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic. “Her legs looked mottled and purplish, and it really looked like she was going to lose her legs.” The physicians would try their best to help her to save her, but they didn’t hold out much hope.

A scheduled emergency surgery, a usual one-hour operation ended up taking eight hours. The clots in her brain were too numerous and difficult to remove safely. Doctors could only hope that her brain could recover enough functioning with help of the undamaged sections of the brain.

Then more support help arrives.

The doctors could do no more. While in intensive care, the strain on her family was too much, her 64-year-old father, Stanley Cook, died of a heart attack in his sleep.

In spite of the overwhelming multiple tragedyies, “her family waited by her bedside and prayed. “We believe in the power of prayer,” her mother said. And there was a lot of it. Her mother called the “prayer team” at her church. From there one person called another. Word, and prayers, were relayed from church to church, state to state. Within days “we had people across the country praying for her,” said Wilma.

For a week, there was no change, Marianne remained paralyzed on her right side. “Then, eight days later, Marianne started to move a toe. A few days later, a foot. The paralysis was slowly fading. The recovery had begun.

Just after Christmas, Marianne was released to a nursing home. Therapists predicted it would take a year before she was ready to go home. They, too, had underestimated Marianne and all her support help. Less than three months after her collapse, Marianne arrived home — walking and talking, and ever so grateful.

Marianne lost vision in one eye and part of one toe from the lack of circulation. But her prognosis is good. She and her family say they don’t know much about miracles. But this, they say, certainly comes close. Her doctors approach it much the same way.

“I cannot remember ever seeing someone with so many strokes and so many problems before surgery walking out of the hospital,” said Dr. Gillinov.”

For more Medicine on the Cutting Edge stories by John McKenzie, click here.