Or maybe I should say 21st lease to life. After every surgery, I feel more and more grateful to God and life for my existence. Such a wonderment. People often ask me what keeps me going. It is this feeling, each of my surgeries were painful no doubt but only for a few days. After that, I feel like I have won the greatest battle and emerged a champion. Such a wonderment and empowering process.

On 7th December 2017, I was taken to admissions at St Vincent Medical Centre in downtown Los Angeles whereupon I was prepared for the operating theatre like always. I had no fear in me because my house clinic neurosurgeon Dr Gregory Lekovic had done some of the hardest brain surgeries for me in the past and kept me alive at this very hospital.

My medical guardian whom I brought along from Malaysia taught everyone how to communicate with me as well as what I accommodations were needed so the surgical team delightfully made small talk with me while we prepped for surgery. I did not even know it when they were starting Anesthesia intravenously hahaha.

Dr Gregory Lekovic did an amazing one-man show and removed two tumours from my lumbar spinal cord in 4 hours. Initially, we thought there was just one 4cm tumour but after he cut me up he saw that there were actually two. He carefully removed them. I woke up in the ICU a few more hours later to an oxygen mask over my nose that fitted me just fine. I think this hospital St. Vincent Medical Center is used to having patients from Asia so it can accommodate my small size very well. No oversized tilt table, no oversized hospital gown, no oversized compression upholstery.

The ICU nurses were very loving and tender Filipinos who made sure that I was comfortable during my one night stay at the Doheny intensive care unit. I only needed to stay at the ICU for one night then discharged to the ward on 8th December 2017. I stayed for another two nights and was good to go back to go back to my rented place on 10th December 2017.

I won’t deny that this surgery was very painful and tough but only for 3 days. It is over now. Another history. I was given Morphine to help me overcome the pain so that I could recover faster.

The place I rented to stay after surgery is a family house which feels just like home. This will help me recover better too. After having removed two tumours from my lumbar spinal cord, I can now stand and walk without the threat of falling forward. I shall now rest as best as I can and have another surgery at the same place, by the same surgical team in January 2018 to remove several tumours from my right arm in extremity.

To undergo my lumbar spinal cord surgery at the 11th hour, I had to use USD 30k plus from my own surgery budget. This was because we had to treat my multiple tumours in accordance with the priority. My spine situation was more critical than my arm. Now that we have that with my spine, I need to respect the money for my arm surgery. Thank goodness my 2nd book was published just in time just in time for this moment. When I need more treatments than I initially thought.

I have someone in Malaysia who is managing my work for me at home. Please refer to this website for information on how to purchase my books including the first one I wrote way back in 2005. Every cent will go towards my surgery payment. Thanks a lot! I look forward to seeing you all again in person.


Categories: miscellaneous

Yvonne Foong

As a child, Yvonne Foong dreamed of growing up to help others. To achieve her ambition, she began studying to become a psychologist. But things changed when tumours were discovered in her body at the age of sixteen. She was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 2 -- a genetic illness with no cure. Fighting for survival, Yvonne turned to fundraising and embarked on a medical odyssey to the United States. Her experiences since then have transformed her into a motivational speaker; inspiring hope, faith and strength. Yvonne is currently working to establish a humanitarian foundation that provides NF patients in Malaysia with financial and logistical support. Visit Works of Gratitude to learn more.

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