Kelly Stafford, wife of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, is counting her blessings this Mother’s Day as she shared with fans and followers a health update ahead of the holiday weekend.
In a post shared Tuesday, May 7, the 29-year-old took to Instagram to share a snapshot of herself with husband, Matthew and Dr. Thompson from the University of Michigan, who removed a brain tumor that threatened her facial and motor functions.
“I honestly don’t know where to start,” Stafford captioned the image. “This is him, the man God chose to remove my brain tumor. After my diagnosis, Matthew and I visited doctors all over the US. He made it a super easy decision after we met Dr. Thompson [at] the U of M hospital.”
Stafford went on to detail how Thompson not only had done about 2000 acoustic neuroma cases, but he had published the results when attempting to preserve facial [and] hearing function with the surgery.
“When I spoke [with] him, he reminded me of my dad. He truly cared [and] was empathetic, which meant so much to me,” she said, adding how the six-hour surgery soon turned from 8 to 12 hours, but Thompson updated her husband, with whom she shares three children with, constantly.
“When he opened me up, he saw an ‘anomalous’ artery that is normally not there,” she continued. “In his 2000 cases, he had seen it ONE other time. BUT [because] it was so rare, he [and] his team wrote a paper on it for other surgeons. Then, God sent him me [and] although surprised when he cut in to see the artery, he was confident [and] prepared. He took his time & was patient. There was a moment when they thought I might have lost my hearing completely. He made everyone [and] everything stop, they all sat, [and] waited for some time.. the audio wave returned.”
She adds how his patience also saved her hearing, as well as her face.
“You read right, he PRESERVED MY HEARING!” she enthused in the post that has now raked in more than 60,000 likes and comments. “Matthew said when Dr. Thompson came up to give him the run down, he was excited for how well it went & that it was a total ‘team victory’ for which they hugged it out for a while. He kept giving credit to his team, which included Dr. Telian (ENT), Dr. Joseph (neuro chief resident) Dr. Welch (ENT Fellow) and Jane (Dr. Thompson’s NP). This team is my dream team.. like the ‘92 bulls with DR. Thompson as my MJ & Dr. Telian, my Scottie pippen.. MVP’s of their craft.”
Stafford added that after the surgery, Thompson visited her every day, revealing that when she ended up back in the hospital, he actually drove an hour from Ann Arbor to the hospital where she was to “physically put eyes” on her, and ensuring her well-being.
“I will forever be in debt to this man [and] his team,” she wrote. “I can’t express how grateful I am for him.. his kindness, empathy, patience, knowledge, & steady hands. Thank [you] Dr. Thompson, thank u so much to [you and] your team.
The 29-year-old mother of three underwent a 12-hour surgery on April 21 for an acoustic neuroma, a slow-growing tumor on the main nerve leading from the inner ear to the brain after breaking news of her tumor April 3. In the post, Stafford revealed to fans of the severity of her tumor and how she begun to “notice things,” springing from events in January, when she first experienced a vertigo spell that pushed her into the ER — something that she adds “kept happening,” even when she held their children. After Matthew took her to ER, Stafford wrote it was just a few days later that they were hit with the results.
“I had a tumor sitting on some of my cranial nerves,” she wrote. “The medical term they used was an acoustic neuroma or vestibular schwannoma. All I heard was brain tumor [and] that they had to do surgery to take it out.. so that is what we are going to do [and] we believe we found the best doctor to do it.”
Stafford took to Instagram this weekend, to share with fans how she is reveling in the joys of motherhood this Mother’s Day, with a tribute to her mother, Leslie Hall, who has been by her side since the start of the harrowing ordeal.0comments
“This woman. If I am half the mom she is, my girls will be lucky,” she wrote. “Not many women would drop everything (including her husband), fly up north, and take care of her daughter, granddaughters, and grand-dogs for an ENTIRE month. I really hope one day I will be that selfless. Thank you mom for raising me. I truly understand what you meant when you said, “when you have kids, you’ll understand.” I get it and this shit is hard, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting up with all of my antics. I love you!”
Photo credit: Instagram / @kbstafford89