June 4, 2019

Around the nation: 27-year-old with brain tumor makes 'miracle' recovery

Daily Briefing

    The woman "had a very large tumor in a tight space" in the back of her brain, according to her neurosurgeon, Ramsey Ashour, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, Missouri, and Texas.

    • District of Columbia: LaSalle D. Leffall Jr., the first black president of the American Cancer Society (ACS), died on May 25 of cancer at age 89. During his time at the helm of ACS, Leffall launched a campaign to address the higher rates of lung, stomach, pancreatic, and esophagus cancer among black men and uterine cancer among black women. Leffall, who taught at Howard University beginning in 1962, is estimated to have trained about 6,000 young surgeons at Howard, according to the New York Times. Leffall was also the first black president of the American College of Surgeons and the first black person to lead the Society of Surgical Oncology and the Society of Surgical Chairs (Roberts, New York Times, 5/31).

    • Missouri: A Missouri Circuit Court judge last week issue an order that allows that last abortion clinic in the state to remain open amid a state investigation into its license. Gov. Mike Parson (R) has said the clinic must address what he calls "a number of serious health concerns" that the state has identified. However, clinic leaders say the state's request is unreasonable and politically motivated and filed a lawsuit over the closure in court. Judge Michael Stelzer last week ruled that the clinic showed it would face "immediate and irreparable injury," if the license lapsed, and ruled to keep the clinic open, for now. Stelzer scheduled a hearing on the merits of the case for Tuesday (Tavernise, New York Times, 5/31).

    • Texas: At age 27, Samantha Wilson was diagnosed with a brain tumor and told she had only one month to live. But Ramsey Ashour, a neurosurgeon at Ascension Seton, offered a different assessment that ultimately saved her life. Wilson "had a very large tumor in a tight space" in the back of her brain, Ashour explained, but he determined it was operable. "This is the kind of surgery you're thinking about the night before," Ashour said. "You want to bring your A-game." Surgeons were able to remove the tumor, which consisted of different pieces, and Wilson's life is now back to normal, KXAN reports. Ashour calls the recovery "a bit of a miracle" (Falcon, KXAN, 6/1).

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