In the blink of an eye your whole world can change. And for our family, that change came on February 7, 2017. Our beautiful twin girls were only a year and a half old when we received the worst news we could ever imagine at that time. After a couple weeks of running to different doctors and specialists, I realized that Gabriellas symptoms could not all be random coincidences. It started with vomiting after waking up in the morning, and some sensitivity to light and noise which became worse over time. Then a lack of appetite, and lastly it was her inability to stay awake or alert for more than a couple hours a day that lead us back to her pediatrician on February 6. At which point Dr Obrien sent us over to Monmouth Medical to be admitted for more in depth testing.
It was 8am that Tuesday on the 7th when Gabriella was taken in for her MRI after all other tests the night before came back normal. After a couple hours we were back in her hospital room while she was recovering from sedation and none of us were prepared for the news were about to receive. We were soon greeted by Dr Sechser Perl, the pediatric oncologist, and her team. As she asked us to take a seat my heart had already sunk into my stomach. She started explaining that what they found was a walnut sized tumor on/near Gabriellas pituitary gland, and the rest of the conversation became a blur. Within less than an hour of her diagnosis we were set up with appointments back to back with the head of pediatric neurosurgery at both CHOP and Weill Cornell.
After days of sleeping in hospital rooms, and countless tests, we made the decision for Dr. Mark Souweidane at Weill Cornell to perform Gabriellas surgery on February 14. Gab stayed in the PICU for 15 days after surgery and was a trooper the entire time. She missed her twin sister Lucia so much but we made sure to let her visit as soon as Gabs swelling came down and was looking and feeling more like herself. She did hit a few roadblocks during recovering and ended up with Diabetes Insipidis along with losing almost all hormone function. But they were able to successfully remove the entire tumor!
Gabriella is now the happiest, sweetest, most energetic 2 year old, and is nothing short of a warrior! She takes all of her meds like a champ and amazes us every single day. She hasn’t missed a single milestone yet and cant wait to start pre school in September! We were all given the greatest gift that Valentines Day.