Kelly Stafford reveals she could have lost her hearing during brain surgery

It has been more than two weeks since Kelly Stafford, the wife of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, had surgery to remove a brain tumor.

On Tuesday, she took to Instagram to thank the doctor who completed the operation, Dr. B. Gregory Thompson from the University of Michigan. In doing so, Stafford revealed that she temporarily lost her hearing during the surgery but Thompson was able to save both her “facial and hearing function.”

“There was a moment when they thought I might have lost my hearing completely. He made everyone and everything stop, they all sat, and waited for some time… the audio wave returned,” she wrote. “His patience saved my hearing, as well as my face. You read right, he PRESERVED MY HEARING!”

In the Instagram post, Stafford detailed her surgery. The surgery was expected to last six hours, but ended up stretching to 12 hours after an “anomalous artery” was discovered. Thompson was prepared for that possibility, she wrote.

“In his 2,000 cases, he had seen it one other time. But because it was so rare, he and his team wrote a paper on it for other surgeons,” Stafford wrote of Thompson. “Then, God sent him me and although surprised when he cut in to see the artery, he was confident and prepared. He took his time and was patient.”

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I honestly don’t know where to start. This is him, the man God chose to remove my brain tumor. After my diagnosis, Matthew and I visited doctors all over the US. He made it a super easy decision after we met Dr. Thompson @ the U of M hospital. Dr. Thompson not only had done about 2000 acoustic neuroma cases & had published outstanding results when attempting to preserve facial & hearing function w/ the surgery, but....when I spoke w/ him, he reminded me of my dad. He truly cared & was empathetic, which meant so much to me. The 6 hr surgery turned to 8, then 10, then 12 hrs & he was constantly updating Matthew throughout. When he opened me up, he saw an ”anomalous” artery that is normally not there. In his 2000 cases, he had seen it ONE other time. BUT bc it was so rare, he & his team wrote a paper on it for other surgeons. Then, God sent him me & although surprised when he cut in to see the artery, he was confident & prepared. He took his time & was patient. There was a moment when they thought I might have lost my hearing completely. He made everyone & everything stop, they all sat, & waited for some time.. the audio wave returned. His patience saved my hearing, as well as my face. You read right, he PRESERVED MY HEARING! Matthew said when Dr. Thompson came up to give him the run down, he was excited for how well it went & that it was a total “team victory” for which they hugged it out for a while. He kept giving credit to his team which included, Dr. Telian (ENT), Dr. Joseph (neuro chief resident) Dr. Welch (ENT Fellow) & Jane (Dr. Thompson’s NP). This team is my dream team.. like the ‘92 bulls with DR. Thompson as my MJ & Dr. Telian, my Scottie pippen.. MVP’s of their craft. After the surgery, Dr. Thompson visited every day. When I ended up back in the hospital, he drove an hour from Ann Arbor to the hospital where I was to physically put eyes on me & make sure I was ok. His NP said he is like that for all his patients.. I mean how amazing is that? I will forever be in debt to this man & his team. I can’t express how grateful I am for him.. his kindness, empathy, patience, knowledge, & steady hands. Thank u Dr. Thompson, thank u so much to u & your team.

A post shared by Kelly Stafford (@kbstafford89) on

‘Each day will get better’

Stafford wrote that she and Matthew visited doctors all over the country after she was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma in her brain. In the end, the couple stayed in Michigan for the surgery. Kelly is thrilled with the choice of Thompson.

“When I spoke with him, he reminded me of my dad. He truly cared and was empathetic, which meant so much to me,” she wrote.

A week after her surgery, Stafford had a minor setback which put her back in the hospital. A few days later, she returned home and revealed that she lost “the entire balance system” on the right side of her body when the tumor was removed — an expected side effect with the surgery.

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Matthew Stafford with his family
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, right, smiles while watches the Detroit Pistons play the Cleveland Cavaliers with his wife Kelly, left, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, in Auburn Hills, Mich. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2017, file photo, Kelly Stafford, wife of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, holds the couple's twins Sawyer, left, and Chandler during pre-game of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, in Detroit. Kelly Stafford plans to have surgery to remove a brain tumor. Stafford shared the details Wednesday, April 3, 2019, on her Instagram account. She says an MRI showed the tumor on cranial nerves after she had vertigo spells within the last year. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski, File)
There are honestly no words for what I have felt in the past few days. I am beyond grateful and just want to thank everyone who has reached out with their support and especially with prayers for me and my family In these past few days. The ability to connect and support each other is what makes social media such an amazing thing. I truly am beyond grateful. I am going to take some time away from social media so that I can focus on what’s most important in life.. my family. Thank y’all so much again for all of the support and prayers, it means more than you will ever know. Until then. ✌🏻and ❤️
Being the #1 man in four girls’ lives can be exhausting.. but you make it look easy and I’m so grateful for that!!
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, center, and girlfriend Kelly Hall, right, laugh at a friend while watching an NBA basketball game between the Detroit Pistons and the Chicago Bulls, Sunday, April 7, 2013, in Auburn Hills, Mich. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Detroit Lions quarterback Matt Stafford, right, and Kelly Hall arrive at the ESPY Awards on Wednesday, July 11, 2012, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
So fun getting to see all of our friends and family while being back in atl for such a short time! Exhausted and ready for my girls.
2009 VS 2019 #10yearchallenge #dontknowwhatitis #butikeepseeingit #so🤷🏼‍♀️ #kidshaveagedme #andmadematthewhotter #wtf
Another Christmas in the books. Planning to sleep until the New Year.. if @staffordsistersquad will let me. ✌🏻
Just a little Christmas preview on this beautiful Sunday. #hunterhopestafford
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In the days since, however, she has posted about her incremental improvement. Last Thursday, she posted a photo of herself at the gym 14 days removed from the operation. At that point, she had been off steroids for two days and was doing “balance-driven” workouts and brain exercises in the morning before spending the rest of the day with her three kids.

“That’s where I’m at and although it’s hard as hell to feel lazy all afternoon, it’s what my mind and body are calling for right now,” she wrote. “Knowing each day my energy, balance, dizziness and nausea will get better so always looking forward to tomorrow.”

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