Astrocytoma of the brain: verification of the diagnosis and successful rehabilitation in Israel – patient’s testimony
Treatment of the effects of a brain tumor
As told by Lyubov, iMER medical coordinator:
A child in a wheelchair… Since I started working for iMER I have seen this scene quite a few times in my line of work, but of course no one could ever get used to it. If I feel one day I am getting used to it, I will take it as a sign to change my occupation…
Anya and her mom came here from Siberia. Anya’s diagnosis was schwannoma, a brain tumor. The girl had spent two years in treatment by then, and the process seemed to have stalled. The doctors could not offer anything new, and eventually, with the help of a special program funded by a regional foundation, Anya was sent to Israel, to our University medical center of Hadassah, for diagnosis verification. I collected all the medical documents, constantly consulted medical experts and doctors – wanted the diagnostic plan to work optimally for Anya and her mom.
On the very first day upon arrival the girl was examined by Dr Iris Fried, pediatric oncologist, and Dr. Benifla, one of the most well-known pediatric neurosurgeons in Israel. After histology and MRI had been performed, they arrived at a more accurate diagnosis: instead of a benign schwannoma, a malignant astrocytoma was discovered. Thankfully, it was in its beginning stages, so the doctors did not recommend a surgery, but instead requested repeat examination. To our great relief, the comparative MRI done in a few months revealed no growth of changes in astrocytoma; Anya’s condition was stable.
But Anya required rehabilitation: due to astrocytoma’s development, her vision greatly suffered. Nobody was taking care of it in Siberia, but here the girl received a two-stage ophthalmologic surgery and two weeks of rehabilitation in Israeli Children’s Rehab Center. The effects of the brain tumor became much less obvious: her vision improved, and Anya walked on her own, instead of riding in a wheelchair, to the plane that was supposed to take her home!
It was difficult for Anya to come here for the first time: all the strangers, unfamiliar and unusual place. Every day she would beg her mom: “Let’s go home!”… But on the day of her departure she did not want to leave; she hugged me and cried. This fall Anya will come to Israel again for check-up and rehabilitation. I really look forward to see her beautiful smile – but not her wheelchair! That I hope to never see again.