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In November 2013, at the age of 8, Jadyn began having severe headaches, which were thought to be caused by a sinus infection. But when they wouldn’t subside, her mom instinctively knew something was wrong – and far more serious.
Jadyn would be life-flighted to Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, where her parents received devastating news. Their little girl had a brain tumor, thought to be medulloblastoma, wrapped around the nerves of her brain. A week later, Dr. Michael Levy performed surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible, and he did so with amazing results: there was no nerve damage. Another surgery removed more of the tumor and confirmed the suspected diagnosis. Jadyn then received chemotherapy, which continued for about a year.
Her father, Kirk, was not only amazed by Dr. Levy’s surgical skills, but by his dedication and compassion.
“After Jadyn’s second surgery – it was on a Sunday – Dr. Levy had come over to check Jadyn out,” he says. “You could tell he was off of work and it wasn’t part of his job. He came into the garden where Jadyn was walking with her IV pole. He just wanted to come over and talk to us and talk to her. That’s one thing that shows the level of care. It’s not just a job.”
Kirk also had high praise for Dr. John Crawford, Jaydn’s neuro-oncologist, along with the ICU staff, the nurses and child life specialists. “Dr. Crawford was just amazing through the entire time,” he says. “With the support of Dr. Crawford and the ICU staff, Jadyn hung in there.” The nursing staff… they are so helpful, so accommodating. The child life specialists are just incredible.”
In Feburary 2015, the family celebrated Jadyn’s 10th birthday with a combined birthday/end-of-chemotherapy party. She currently shows no signs of the tumor.