By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
“All those prayers were answered.” That’s what Kayla Holmes said of grandson Dustin Holmes’ surgery last week to remove a tumor from the top of his spine.
Holmes, 18, underwent surgery Feb. 24 to remove a tumor pressing against his spinal cord. Neurosurgeon Dr. Michele Aizenberg decided to remove that tumor, Kayla Holmes said, because it was pressing against his spine “so hard.”
Another tumor in the same area was left in, she said because “it wasn’t causing so much of a problem,” and because there was a little bleeding near an artery.
Parts of some vertebrae were also removed, Holmes said.
Dustin’s family spent 14 hours at the University of Nebraska Medical Center the day of the surgery. Brother Mason sent updates to people during the day.
“Dustin wanted to FaceTime me. He is finally going to get food,” including French fries with catsup, he wrote Tuesday evening.
Kayla Holmes said Dustin is “doing so well that they decided to let him do his therapy here,” she said Monday. The family returned to Imperial Friday evening.
“All those prayers were answered,” she said of the surgery, noting that Dustin has better movement in his legs and shoulders, and “His right hand is much better” following the surgery.
He will probably still have to use a wheelchair for mobility, she added.
Dustin has Neurofibromatosis Type 1, a genetic disorder that disturbs cell growth in the nervous system. It also causes the growth of tumors along nerves in the skin, brain and other parts of the body.
After a March 11 checkup, the family will make decisions about school. “We’re not sending him back to school until we get clearance from a doctor,” Kayla said.
Chase County Schools held a celebration of accomplishment ceremony for Dustin prior to his surgery, recognizing his achievements in school.
His parents are Corey and Missy Holmes of Imperial and Randi and Scott Piepho of Wiggins, Colo.