Bryan remembers a Friday night in November 2020, when he started having trouble remembering things and seeing “a little green area” that shouldn’t have been there.
“I have like 1,000 things going at one time, so I started to write everything down,” the Northern Kentucky police officer says. “It was all short-term stuff, but it was starting to affect my work.”
Bryan’s daughters also had noticed some personality changes and were concerned. Bryan went to the eye doctor and then called his family doctor, who gave him a blunt message: “Go to the emergency room – now.”
At St. Elizabeth Healthcare in Edgewood, a CAT scan showed a mass on Bryan’s brain. He says the attending physician told him he had to see a neurosurgeon.
“She said, ‘I’m going to get you the best doctor I know,’” Bryan says now. “It was Dr. Skidmore.”
Within hours, neurosurgeon Brad Skidmore, MD, of Mayfield Brain & Spine, was in Bryan’s room. They scheduled a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test for the following week, which revealed a tumor called a meningioma, about the size of a small lemon, near the base of Bryan’s skull. Meningiomas grow from the three-layer protective membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord, called meninges.
Bryan recalls that Dr. Skidmore was confident the surgical team could successfully remove the tumor. “I wasn’t too nervous,” he says. “I thought, ‘I’ve got it, and now let’s get it taken care of.’”
Dr. Skidmore removed the tumor in mid-November. He recommended annual MRIs for Bryan for the next 10 years to guard against any regrowth or recurrence.
“If you can attack the blood supply on these tumors, you can get a leg up on it,” Dr. Skidmore says. “All the blood vessels that go to your brain are wrapped around it.”
After the surgery, Bryan had a seizure, leading to five days in intensive care and 10 total days at St. Elizabeth. Dr. Skidmore called his family with an update and came to Bryan’s hospital room every day.
Bryan came home from the hospital a few days after Thanksgiving. Several weeks of sessions with Jenna Till, DPT, and Jordan Earlywine, DPT, physical therapists in Mayfield’s Kentucky office, also helped restore Bryan’s balance and strength deficits after so much time in the hospital.
“When we started physical therapy, his strength and balance had been affected,” Till says. “He progressed well with PT services, working hard both in the clinic and at home. He was constantly challenging himself to improve physically, and that accelerated his improvement."
Bryan’s recovery has not been easy. He had to re-qualify through weapons training. He worked slowly to recover both physical strength and mental acuity, doing word searches and crossword puzzles and working with a speech therapist.
“I had to ease my brain and my body into getting strong, and that took six weeks,” Bryan remembers. “Now I feel stronger. I’m enjoying getting back to work. My memory and my speech have come back.”
Bryan says he appreciated Dr. Skidmore’s confidence and willingness to tell him exactly what he needed to know – even if it was difficult news.
“Dr. Skidmore said, ‘This is what we’re going to do.’” Bryan recalls. “And by God, that’s what we did.”
~ Cliff Peale
Hope Story Disclaimer -"Bryan's Story" is about one patient's health-care experience. Please bear in mind that because every patient is unique, individual patients may respond to treatment in different ways. Results are influenced by many factors and may vary from patient to patient.