A 17-year-old Colstrip girl has completely recovered after brain surgery in February.
May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month, and Kenzie Rogers visited her doctor at St. Vincent Healthcare's Regional Neuroscience Center on Wednesday.
"I didn't realize how fast I would bounce back," Rogers said about three months after her surgery. "But it, like, just instantly looked like it was like nothing. It just looked like a normal brain again."
In December, Kenzie was having headaches and neck pain, and they got worse in February.
"One night, I was just like really sweating, wasn't feeling good," she said. "I was pale. My mom came home and was like, we're taking you to the ER tomorrow."
"She had a CAT scan first and then an MRI," said Dr. Stuart Goodman, St. Vincent neuroscience service head and neurosurgeon. "But if you looked into her eyes, you could see that there was swelling and that's what the clue from at least the optometrist she went to was that there's swelling around the optic nerves. That was a sign that there was increased intercranial pressure. She could die of sudden death at any point so I had to, we had to move right away."
Goodman talked about the tumor in the procedure.
"It's a tumor that's very vascular that forms a fluid around it like a water balloon," Goodman said. "And the water balloon compresses the brain and brainstem and obstructs the flow of spinal fluid. And with that, the rest of the brain starts filling up with water, like a water balloon, and the pressure goes up and up and up. The fancy medical term called a suboccipital craniotomy. Occipital which is part of the brain. So you're going subcraniotomy, take a piece of bone out he put something back."
Kenzie went back to Colstrip High School to finish her junior year, and she will return to work in June.
"Well, my mom took really good care of me the whole way through," she said. "She's really nice and my dad made jokes all the time, either so always make jokes and my sister and she just always helped me out."
"Everything is normal for now," Goodman said."She really doesn't have to worry at this point."
"Worst haircut ever," Goodman said.
"Yea, I'll forgive him," Rogers said. "He saved my life."
The St. Vincent Healthcare fundraiser, Saints 2021 in July, will benefit the hospital's Neuroscience Center of Excellence.