• Survivor or Caregiver

TBI One Love Survivor Meagan Sutherland

Hello, my name is Meagan.

May 2008. I was finishing up my freshman year at MSU. It was finals week. I was not feeling well, sleeping a ton and had very little appetite. I ran into the bathroom after my last final to throw up. I moved home and started my summer job at a golf course. I was on my way home and I started getting double vision. I made it home safely. My mom scheduled an emergency eye appointment that afternoon. They dilated my eyes and immediately sent me across the street to the local hospital, where they did an MRI.  The MRI tech came in and said there was something on my brain and that they were sending me to Beaumont.

 I met my neurosurgeon that night. She told me I had a brain tumor and that my surgery would be at 6 am tomorrow. After the 8-hour surgery I was recovering in the PICU, but there was fluid on my brain from surgery. So three days after surgery they went in again to drain the fluid. I was discharged to the rehab floor for another three weeks. I had to relearn how to do everything. I had left side paralysis and aphasia after my surgery. I was discharged from the hospital and spent the next three months in outpatient OT PT and speech therapy. In August of that summer I had gamma knife radiation before returning to MSU.  

First semester back was good. I took 2 classes and was working as a waitress and assistant Cheer coach. Then came second semester. I tried to take 3 classes. I still had those two jobs as well. But in March of 2009, I started losing everything and getting super disoriented. I had to drop my classes and come home. I went into see my neurosurgeon, who ordered an MRI. The MRI showed something new. I had developed a brain cyst from the radiation. I opted to have a procedure and have a reservoir installed. BIG MISTAKE! The reservoir took away my memory for two good months. I was so foggy, I could not see correctly, and my intelligence was completely gone.

I was beyond depressed. I went to a new neurosurgeon. he basically said this is stupid and took out the reservoir and the cyst. I still have short term memory problems and am on SSI and SSD. I am going back to school in January. I only go part time. I have 44 credits and I started college in fall of 07. I will slowly but surely make my way towards my degree. There are many things I want to do with my life.

The most helpful thing I can do now for my fellow warriors is to continue planning my hair donations for wigs for kids and my bowling event for tumors suck!

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